Sunday, 23 February 2014

Black'n'blue Fantasy Necklace Design

I fancied returning to the dark side for my next Onyx Fantasy Necklace Design.

This necklace was still made up in my lush red and black theme until I needed to borrow the red prisms for my Valentine's Bangle for Jess *mental note to self* buy more red prisms...  That necklace has had a LOT of wear and  I wasn't tired of the design at all, but after the brightness of wearing Sunrise Blossom Bracelet, I fancied a change and after all; the beauty of modular jewellery is not only that you can design your own jewellery, but that you can chop and change designs as the impulse comes upon you.

I wanted a necklace to wear with my Sky at Night Bangle and some of my X by Trollbeads and Story Bracelets.

Trollbeads Onyx Fantasy Necklace - Beads from bottom up:
Triangles, Blue Tiger's Eye, Chinese Snake, In Your Heart, Luccicare bead, onyx zodiac star.

I love my tree & crescent moon bead from Christa at Luccicare so that went straight back in.  Also a cert for this necklace was a blue tigers eye I picked up last month; so dark it almost looks black but is that lovely inky blue and ideal to compliment the darker blues in my Sky at Night Bangle.

The retired triangles silver bead I used at the bottom of the necklace I found in a sale in November, and in all honesty I wish I'd picked up the others that were available at the same time, unbelievably I was actually sticking to a budget on that purchase but for once I regret being good!  Above the stone I put Chinese Snake, who had been living on my Garden Bracelet but I'd recently broken this one up as I hadn't worn it in a while (I tend to wear it more in Summer) so it was time to recycle the beads!

I love the zodiac stars and onyx was the natural choice to finish this off in order to keep the design dark... I struggled a bit trying to capture how lovely this is with a photo, so whilst I'm happy with my new necklace, I perhaps need to work on my photography a bit more?!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Trollbeads Sunrise Blossom Bracelet - playing with multiples.

I made a promise to myself a while back that I would make the time to create some new full bracelet combinations as I've been focusing more on bangles and leather wraps of late and ignoring my silver charm bracelets a tad.

Also there was a slightly less glamourous practical reason for this; despite pimping my bead box with 10 extra super long rods to hold more beads... it's, er, rather full again so I have a storage need to have a few more bracelets made up, nothing like an injection of storage reality to give myself a kick up the butt to make good on my promises! A'hem, let's just skip over that part for now...

I initially bought many of the Trollbeads Fall Collection beads in multiples.  This was the first time I've done this with a new collection; a decision that was inspired not only by the collection itself, but the ease with which you can create new bangle designs when you have 2 of something.

That idea seems to have snowballed and I've also been slowly buying multiples of other beads too, finally I did get the time to focus on a bracelet, and what better place to start than with some multiples and a focal bead.  This bracelet is unusual for me in that I've not included any silver beads at all, just glass and stones.

I used Trollbeads Sunrise Blossom as the centre bead.  The retired green armadillos are becoming a fast favourite of mine after having seen them in real life in a friend's collection, I've gone from 0 to 4 in quite a short space of time and couldn't resist using them all together.

The carnelian orange faceted stones toward the front are artisan and are flanked by my two Green Jaspers which actually look very different to each other.  The rest of the beads are from the Fall Collection 2013, next are the Saffron Facet beads, the Masala Facets and finished off with Aqua Edge Pumpkin beads.  I've still to pick up the Aqua Edge Triangle bead from that set and yes I want 2 of those also!

I love the colours in this bracelet and I think it's safe to say; I've definitely overcome my previous reluctance with orange beads!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Story by Kranz & Ziegler - Silver Dragon and Amethyst Drop Charms

I had been patiently waiting for my last Story Charm to arrive, well that's a bit of a lie really, as I've actually not been very patient... having ordered it in mid-January from the UK, I was beginning to wonder what had happened to it.

I'm pleased to report that having had to be ordered in especially, it has now made it's way from Denmark, to the shop, and now to it's new home on my wrist!

Ironically, as this has taken a while to get to me I've succumbed again and ordered 2 more Story Charms while I waited for my dragon.  I also tried to order a multitude of bracelets from the sales, one by one, but luckily for my Boiler Fund they all were eventually declared out of stock!

Featured below is one of my "extras" aka Silver Faceted Purple Amethyst Drop that made it's way from the shop into my bead box... only it didn't quite get there as it went straight on my bracelet along with my new little dragon!

Hmmmm, buying 3 charms has somehow morphed into 7 charms already!  I'm not sure how good all this delayed gratification is for me; I thought it would help me buy less but I just seem to order things whilst I'm waiting!

I'm so pleased that I've been able to complete one of my New Year's Bead Resolutions - I honestly didn't expect it to happen so quickly, but yet again I've completed one by February!  In fairness without stumbling across the first sale and then seeking out the rest it wouldn't have happened quite so quickly.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Ohm Beads Love Hurts - Valentine's Bangle for Jess

When I first set eyes on Ohm's Love Hurts, I knew that this was the bead for me.

Not only did I know this immediately but something strange actually happened in that I had quite a visceral reaction to the bead itself and it seems I wasn't the only one.

Each scar on my heart represents a person to whom I have given my love.  Each patch represents the love I have received.

No doubt for me that this was in part due to the day it was launched; as this happened to coincide with the anniversary of saying goodbye to a much loved companion, my dog Jess.

Very quickly where the bead appeared for sale, it then appeared out of stock!  Love Hurts is a limited edition and I knew I wanted it as soon as possible.  Ever the bargain hunter, but I didn't even pause for breath to take Ohm up on their fabulous offer - as a Gift with Purchase free with a 100 euro spend on other Ohm beads - I ordered it direct for immediate delivery.

Service from Ohm was great and Love Hurts duly arrived - I wasn't disappointed, the bead is every bit as good as it looks in the stock photos, boasting a different view from every angle.  The detailing is superb, hence the upside down and side photos as well, and I'm told the bead is big by Ohm standards if you're already familiar with the brand.

I've been waiting anxiously for several other beads to arrive as I knew what I wanted to make - a black and red bangle using Trollbeads new Sahara Night beads from the most recent collection and old favourites, the red prisms, with tiny small heart silvers and a black spinel tassel.

L-R: stopper, TB Red Prism, Hearts small, Sahara Night, Ohm Love Hurts,
TB Sahara Night, Hearts Small, Red Prism, Black Spinel Tasel, stopper.

The final delivery actually didn't arrive until after lunchtime on Valentine's Day - I've literally only just been able to put Jess's bangle together; it was totally worth the wait.

Jess: 1991 - 2006

Thank you Ohm for making this bead.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Stones Bangle

I normally have 3 bangle designs on the go at any time and unlike most of my full silver bracelets my bangles generally stay made up until I change them over.

Having shown you my Sky at Night and Sunrise Blossom bangles that only leaves my Stones Bangle...

Towards the end of last year I ordered my final couple of amber beads and earlier this year I ordered another Green Jasper to go with the one I picked up last Summer.  The new one is more typical of those you see in the stock photos (the middle stone in the photo) but the one from last Summer is a dark glittery green (on the right in the photo); finally I paired all these up with a sparkly (which I've failed to capture on the photo) labradorite  and voila, a green and yellow cream stones bangle!

Stones Bangle (L-R): Labradorite, Amber, Green Jasper, Amber, Green Jasper.

Now I'm just waiting for my backfilled silvers sale order to arrive and I can start all over again!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Trollbeads Space - Sky at Night Bangle

I've always liked the 2 tone Trollbeads with silver and gold, but even despite my spending on jewellery in general I always find it difficult to part with the big sums for statement beads.

This is slightly illogical because in some ways when I look at my bead box in hindsight now, there are beads in there that I would happily swap out for those statement beads, but I think this is a natural progression that a lot of collectors go through, first you want variety and lots of choice and once you've achieved that you start to turn your thoughts to those "other" beads you've always admired from afar.

Space is one of those beads, and as it only has a tiny bit of gold it's at the more affordable end of the silver/gold range, ironically I think it's one of the nicest.  I love the gun metal grey beads in the collection and especially those to do with space and the night sky.

I've had an idea for a Sky at Night bangle for a long time and I finally got to make it when Space arrived...

I've always counted myself very lucky to have found 2 Navy Galaxies; even now, knowing how lucky I was (timing and a wonderful trollfairy), I would still love to have more!  Those Galaxies, paired with Blue Goldstone, and the two silver and gold planet themed beads have finally allowed me to finish that Sky at Night bangle I've been dreaming of.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


4th February is always a strange day for me as it's the anniversary of saying goodbye to the best dog in my world.  My bittersweet day.

Today I saw Victoria's post about a bead that Ohm have just released as a limited edition bead, Love Hurts, and I knew that this captures how today feels for me.

4th February is coincidentally the date that I bought my first Trollbead 2 years ago, so today is also the day I celebrate the start of what is now a wide ranging modular jewellery addiction;  bead duly ordered and ironically I think I might have need of that Bead Wagon now...

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Trollbeads Limited Edition - Sunrise Blossom

Last year there was a flurry of activity in small releases of Limited Edition (LE) beads in the US... as these are never fully confirmed some have morphed from just concept stores, to oh okay, now other stores can carry them, to look here they are in Europe... who knows they may even make it into a local store I can catch a bus to in the UK.

Sunrise Blossom

Unfortunately for me, wanting one of these and shopping via the US to make sure we got one, myself and my good friend did end up paying over the odds for something we could have bought more cheaply more closely to home without all the extra fees involved (customs and UK post office "handling" fee) had we waited.

Bitter?  No I'm not actually; perhaps a bit exasperated with Troll at the moment, but knowing that Troll can (and do) change their mind about availability and future distribution of beads I knew it was a possibility; admittedly the beads crossing the Atlantic only a short couple of months later does make me wish that Troll would decide what it wants to do distribution wise with these types of beads, announce this and thus stop all the apparent faffing.

Confusingly Sunrise Blossom briefly appeared on the official Trollbeads UK website as Sunrise; along with all the other "US now Europe LE Beads" but has since disappeared again along with the others.

However, politics aside, Sunrise Blossom is a really lovely bead AND it's a flower which you don't normally find me saying in the same sentence!

The bead is a lovely combination of oranges and yellows, one of the reasons I was attracted to this bead was the background colours around the core; the colour is almost a stripy tie-dye effect, encircled with flowers; I think I'm embracing my inner hippy here...

Generally the first thing I do with any new bead is pop it on a bangle and have a play.

Sunrise Blossom paired with Saffron facet beads from the Fall Collection 2013 & silver lucky knot beads

Swap out the silver beads and replace with contrasting green armadillo beads (retired but you can still find them available to buy) and voila another bangle.

Swap out the silver luck knot beads & replace with retired green armadillos

I find having multiple examples of beads to use on a bangle really helpful, I've recently backfilled my silver beads with some new multiples, so when they eventually arrive you may well find some more bangle designs on the blog, er once I've showed you the existing ones, I seem to be designing them a lot more quickly than I'm blogging them!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

(My) Trollbeads Spring Collection has arrived!

Last month saw the debut of the Trollbeads Spring Collection; a collection that I had been eagerly waiting for and have so far resisted the urge to go squee or indeed squeek with excitement; although that is probably the side effect of being laid up with lurgy in the run up to the release launch!

Unfortunately due to this, I didn't get to see the collection make it's debut on the day so I set about choosing my beads in a wholly different manner from normal; unusually I didn't hand pick my glass beads by sight either... so I wasn't sure what exactly would arrive through the post.

I love opening up the box to find out what delights are contained inside, and even though I obviously knew what I'd ordered (my fever wasn't running *that* high) I never tire of that first sight of a set of beads!  I was good this time and did stick to my original list without sneaking in any extras!

Beads still in the box

My first impressions of the Sparkle Kit were good overall, I knew I'd always be a bit self critical for not taking my time to hand pick my choices but I'm not disappointed by my kit either.  I can see me picking up multiples in the future as I come across nice examples either in person or by photo, but the general consensus is if you like sparkly beads you won't be disappointed with this kit.

Trollbeads Sparkle Kit from the Spring Collection 2014
Clockwise from knot: Magical Lamp, Scirocco, Desert Rose, Oasis, Fountain of Life, Ancient Palace.

The beads that actually knocked my socks off were the Sahara Night Facet ones, I'm not sure my friends understood my enthusiasm for these beads until I showed them some side shots, I've chosen to make a collage of these so you can see how they look from different angles.  I *love* the berry hue (thanks Victoria for that description) that you see when viewing the beads from an angle.

Mine are both different, one has a smaller inner core and large clear overlay and the other has a much fatter core and smaller overlay which changes the way the beads look.  For those "must be matched" fans who can't hand pick their beads you might want to ask online retailers to do an overhead shot of the side of your bead/s as well as the normal head on vertical ones on rods to make sure you get the ones you want.

Sahara Night Facet Beads

Finally my Babylonian Nymph, I love the detailing on this bead!

Babylonian Nymph

I'm really pleased with my initial choices and a quick peek in my bead box revealed that there are lots of beads I can use with the new arrivals to conjure up some new bracelets, bangles and necklaces.

Have you bought any of the new collection yet?  Do you plan to?  What do you think??