Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Z is for Z for Zachariah

Z for Zachariah is a post-apocalyptic novel published in 1974.  Taking the theme of being in that situation...

but not literally for the sake of being able to ask the following question; which would be dumb if you were taking being in a post-apocalyptic situation seriously... 

... I was asked several weeks ago "Out of all your Trollbeads, if you had time to grab one bracelet, which one would it be and why?"

The parameters were that it could be any bracelet that I had currently made up, previously made up, or were indeed yet to make (with beads I have currently).

I looked down at my wrist, and really the answer was in front of me.  Fearing that it was too easy a choice, after all it was the only bracelet I could see as we were out and about at the time... I've been mulling the question over ever since.

As today is the last day of the A to Z challenge I thought I'd finally share my answer with you.  It's still the one I had on my wrist that day...

This is a bracelet that is made up wholly of production* beads; the glass and stone are all Trollbeads and the silvers are a mix of Trollbeads and Redbalifrog. 

*You could argue that any stone is individual in itself and some were Limited Edition but all are from what we call the main collection releases.

My Winter Beach Bracelet

I chose this bracelet over all others and the reasons for my choice are quite involved, so the sake of brevity, for the last A to Z post, I shall simply say that this bracelet holds a lot of personal meaning to me.

But yes, that is the one I would grab.

If I were to ask you the same question about your jewellery, with the same parameters and assumptions (you can of course ignore the Trollbeads part so everyone can take part), what would it be and why?  

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Y is for Yardarm

Yippee the end is almost in sight!  I hope you're not yawning or wishing it was still yesterday, but instead yearning to find out what today is all about?

Yes?  Well I'll crack on then!

Yardarm refers the horizontal parts of a sailing ship's mast... but naturally I'm blogging about the phrase "Sun is over the yardarm" referring in modern parlance to when it's acceptable to have an alcoholic drink.

It's become a bit of a tradition when out and about, or indeed indoors, to take photos of bracelets with the alcoholic drink of choice.  It started out as a bit of fun between two friends one day, but it has since turned into a bit of an ongoing tradition between a group of us.  These are some of the photos that don't always make it onto the blog, although most of them did, which I'm going to share today... you can see I also do it with tea and coffee too!  I should have turned this into a blog photo treasure hunt with a prize... oh sod that I'm too tired!

Although one has to note there is only 1 tea and 1 coffee pic in there... Health and Safety y'see,  yes that's the reason... tea and coffee are hot, hence my risk assessment that it's safer to take pics of beads with cold drinks, hic!

I thought this was a fitting topic for Y especially, as tomorrow marks the end of the Challenge and when I was asked at the start, "What I would do to celebrate finishing the A to Z Challenge?", my reply was:

...with whatever I can lay my hands on that pours into a glass! #AZchat

So just one more letter to go; Z finishes off both the alphabet and the challenge tomorrow.

For the participating bloggers who visit today; I ask the same question to you... what will you do to celebrate finishing the challenge?

For supporters of the challenge; what will you do on Thursday?

P.S. my answer would have to change slightly if asked today... as it would be ...crack on with the next one!  Blogging Hull Fashion Week!  I might have to postpone that drink until after the weekend!

Monday, 28 April 2014

X is for X by Trollbeads

Whilst I was very tempted to do X is for X-Ray just so I could show you all the skulls and skeletons that I love in jewellery; I decided to showcase X by Trollbeads as I think it deserves a bit of love and having been around from the launch of this brand I can't resist the opportunity to spread the word and give you a rest from the beads!

Here is the original introduction video describing what X by Trollbeads is, most of my regular readers will have seen this before, but if you're new to Curling Stones or X by Trollbeads it's a very good starting point.

I also found some of the videos by the Designers and thought I'd pick out my favourite video from the bunch, I don't have any of Kristian's designs but I love the way he describes his approach and sense of achievement.  The video is very short and worth watching just to see the sheer amount of detail he achieves in one of his designs!

I hope you enjoyed this peek into the X by Trollbeads link bracelet system, if you want to know more about how I wear my X by Trollbeads, here are two links to earlier posts:

I find X very versatile and will often stack it with other bracelets and brands as well as wearing it by itself.

P.S. I couldn't resist including some skulls anyway... 

What jewellery do you have that goes with everything?
Hit the comments and tell me more...

Saturday, 26 April 2014

W is for Writing A Blog

Well, I've already covered:

Waiting (I'm not very good at it) for my Rebeligion Bracelet

Rebeligion See No, Hear No, Speak No Evil Skulls bracelet

Wyvern under Dragons (technically what my first dragon trollbead was)

First Trollbead: Lucky Dragon

Warplanes (will let you scratch your head on that one - if you're really bored you can try and find the reference in the A to Z series!)

Avro Vulcan XH558

and Weather (sort of; in my Iceblink post).

Attempting to recreate Iceblink with beads

That left either more weather (well I am British and we do obsess about it), wish lists, World Tour beads, what I wear, (bead) waggon, the list was endless but none of them was sparking any urge to write... then it came to me... Writing!

It was under my nose all the time, quite literally, as I was typing this into my laptop at the time.

Obvious when you think about it really!

I love writing this blog, whilst I've blogged before, Curling Stones for Lego People is my first totally public, tell people (eventually) about it blog.

I enjoy the process of writing, the creation of ideas about what to say, how to say it, when to say and indeed if to say it. I like the nuts and bolts of editing a piece, seeing the focus change and knowing when it's ready... it's a bit like how I cook sometimes... those dishes where you have a vague idea how it will turn out, but you don't strictly follow a recipe and it's slightly different yet "yours" at the same time.

The by product of writing a blog, and this blog in particular, is I get days like today, I hadn't written this post until now... so, er, actually none of what I've just written about above, this is my cheese on toast post - sling it together and try not to burn it!

Once I've finished this, I have some research to do and then I'm off to meet 2 very different jewellers today in preparation for blogging Hull Fashion Week next week and all whilst finishing off the month long writing project that has been the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, of which I hope to crawl over the finish line on Wednesday... literally embodying the last letter with several Zzzzz.

Makes me wonder how I ever fit in the day job?

What do you do for fun that makes you want to get out of a bed in the morning and stay up late at night to achieve?  Hit the comments and tell me more!

Friday, 25 April 2014

V is for Vernier Scale

Buying beads can be a tricky business as they come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes knowing the scale of the bead is a very useful piece of information.

Amber Trollbeads probably have the largest variances in size, scale and shapes

Trollbeads Amber beads in particular can vary wildly from tiny to HUGE in either dimension and when buying beads online from a photo you can't always tell what the scale is.  Many a friend has bought what they thought was a normal sized bead, glass or amber, to be either horrified or delighted by it's actual size.

I have many "matching" beads that really don't match at all as I end up with the Little and Large versions as they are bought at different times, especially if they are bought online rather than hand picked in the shop.

It's harder to "see" in a photo, but the first pic shows a normal production sized lake eye (green bead) at the top and the bottom lake eye is actual huge by comparison.

I have 2 large pod beads (left of the group of 4) and 2 much smaller pod beads (on the right).  Variances in size are less of an issue where beads are on a long bracelet design and spaced out, or like in the necklace design above, made a feature out of; but if you want a small 3-bead bangle design then it can get a little tricky as the size difference can make it look awkward.

I should stress I don't see this is as a problem (unless you catch me in a more obsessive mood with a design); it's one of the beauties of handmade glass beads... they are indeed individual!

However, I keep meaning to invest in a Vernier Caliper, as it's the easiest way to measure beads, rather than by eye, but I never quite get around to buying one.  Should you wish to plunge the depths ('scuse the pun) of the Vernier Scale here is a somewhat dry but informative video on how to use them...

What useful gadget do you keep meaning to buy; 
but never quite get around to actually buying one?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

U is for Unexpected

So what is unexpected about today's post:
  1. It's not about Jewellery
  2. It's a sponsored post as I was given the product as a gift
  3. It's also an advert as I have a reader offer for you
  4. For those who know me, you will be as surprised as I was that it didn't go straight in the bin
What on earth will she write about I hear you ask?

Hello! Magazine.

Yes I really did say Hello! Magazine.

When I attended #HullBloggerMeet we received a large Goody Bag that was provided as part of the meet for the Bloggers taking part.  This contained a range of samples and full sized products for us to try and review if we wished.  One of the things in my Goody Bag was Hello! Magazine.

Now I'm not a magazine person per se, when going to the GP, Hairdresser, Dentist or anywhere else where I may come across random mags in the waiting area; I'm the girl who takes a Kindle so I can read whatever book I'm currently into and avoid all the celeb gossip culture that seems to be everywhere I look.  However between finishing one book and starting another, I picked up Hello! and started to read.

I've never actually read a copy before so I was expecting to quickly flick through looking at the photos out of curiosity and then bin it (in the recycle bin of course).  Actually it wasn't half bad and I found I read the whole thing, especially the articles on Kylie and The Voice... and, I've er, not recycled it yet either.  I'm not going to be buying a copy, however I was (really) surprised by how well it read and I would be tempted to pick one up for a read next time I'm in a waiting room... although that does depend on how gripping my current kindle read is.  I'm particularly precious about my reading time at the hairdressers but I can see my GP/Dentist waiting time being different! 

So if you fancy starting a Hello! subscription or pretty much ANY mag you can think of then read on...

Hello! was provided by Unique Magazinesalso a U... I'm so rocking today's A to Z Challenge!  Unique Magazines are also giving me a reader offer to pass on to all you lovely folk, and yes, it does cover readers from outside the UK as I've already asked that question for you!

Unique Magazines offer a huge variety of different reading, from gardening, to Vogue, to motorbike mags, to computer and hobby mags and my acid test of any magazine service is could I buy a subscription to any of the more obscure ones that my family or friends might read.  The answer was yes!

All you need to take advantage of this offer is put in the code blogger14 to get 10% off the advertised price of ANY* magazine offered by Unique Magazines through their website 

*THE SMALL PRINT - This is a 10% off when you pay upfront for the subscription - it doesn't work if you are opting to pay by Direct Debit as you go along.

The offer is valid if you order before 30th April 2014 - so if you've been debating whether or not to get a subscription to anything, check out the link and have a browse this week!

Hope you enjoyed my Unexpected Blog Offer!  Hit the comments and let me know!

All photos copyright of the respective magazines; please do not reproduce without crediting

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

T is for Trollbeads on my Travels

Well I could hardly let T pass without choosing Trollbeads; after all I am The Trollbead Troll @TrollbeadBlog on Twitter.

The inspiration for the "on my travels" part happened quite by chance; thanks to a random Tweet on Twitter and finding myself with a spare 90 minutes in another country (Wales).

So what can one do with a spare 90 minutes?  Check Twitter & notice that Paul Gentile Jewellers in Cwmbran are holding a Trollbeads Event to launch the new collection.  Interesting things were being hinted at and somebody mentioned a goodie bag with purchase... always the curious one I set off in search of Trollbeads!

Trollbeads Counter Display at Paul Gentile Jewellers
in Cwmbran, South Wales

In another twist of fate I almost met one of my lovely readers who happened to be heading the same way at the same time; but alas slow facebook notifications meant it just wasn't meant to be (this time)!

Fantasy Necklace

Greeted with a glass of Bucks Fizz and a Chocolate Cake there was plenty of time to have a look at some of the new arrivals...

New Limited Edition Emerald Fantasy Necklace with Cherry Blossom Splitter Bead

...and chat to the staff about Trollbeads and all things jewellery!

Trollbeads on display

Paul Gentile staff recreating the People's Bead 2014 postcard - fun things to do in a Trollbeads Shop!

So my 90 mins was time well spent, and if you are ever passing Cwmbran the shop is well worth a visit.  It was only my second visit here but there always seems to be a warm welcome - although I'm not sure you can have chocolate cakes and bucks fizz every time!

The big question, given all my talk of budgets earlier on in the challenge, was did anything catch my eye?  Actually this time I was pretty strict with myself; I bought a small silver bead that was next on my list of beads to buy from the Spring Collection and as I was being good I put back another Glass Bead and a Moss Agate Stone and really did buy 1 bead ONLY.


I was also tempted by the Thomas Sabo Karma Beads as Abi had spotted my stack of the day...

...and thought they might appeal to me - she was right, but I am not going to start any new bracelet lines just yet as I attempt to reign in my spending a little bit.  *Puts them on the "list" for later*

And my Goodie Bag?  Was filled with red wine, chocolates, new product info, a bookmark and a polishing cloth - great use of 90 minutes!

I love when great timing allows you to participate in something you weren't expecting... any tales of co-incidence you have to share?