Thursday 26 February 2015

My 1st Karma Bracelet

Time to put the last beads on my Karma Bracelet and actually get it finished!

My last beads: Matt Black Shanghai (far left), silver Cross bead (above), some more stoppers & finally a safety chain!

If you've been following my Karma journey so far, you'll know that, for me, I've been quite restrained in completing my first Karma bracelet.  

After my last splurge I thought I was in need of two more beads and a few more stoppers, but this ended up being two more beads, a few stoppers and a safety chain as I still had too much of a gap on my bracelet! 

My final two beads were another matt black Shanghai bead and a small but highly detailed silver bead called Cross, ironically after buying this bead you could buy it in the sales for practically half price, but those are the breaks, I can't catch all the sales, as much as I might try! 

The safety chain I chose fills up quite a bit of the bracelet, which was needed in my case - you can get smaller, more dainty versions if you need them.  

Here it is shown half on and half off, it comes with a fair bit of rubber inset inside and it's VERY secure on the bracelet (read it needs some welly to get it on there).

Karma safety chain in close detail

So that's it, my first Karma bracelet!!

I'm so pleased that I went for a reasonably thought out design before I started buying.  It still needed a bit of re-jigging, as despite knowing that the Cross bead was small (0.9cm) I didn't appreciate how small it would actually look on the finished bracelet.  I naively thought it would be balanced  by my small skull (which is the same diameter) but Cross looks much smaller due to it's spherical shape.

I have no current plans to add or detract from this design right now.  I chose alternating silver and black beads because in future I thought I could buy 3 or 6 coloured beads and swap out either half, or all of the black to mix it up - a different looking bracelet with just 3 or 6 beads, more affordable if using the beads priced at the lowest end!

Just need somewhere to keep it all! More on that later...

So I know what my verdict on Karma is; I love it!  What's yours?

Monday 23 February 2015

Yorkshire Beadmaker Event at Sizer Jewellers - Saturday 7th March 2015

Sometimes my timing is rubbish, we finally get a Beadmaker Event in Yorkshire and I'm off to the *wrong* bit of Yorkshire for the weekend!  Whilst I'll be going from East to West, might I suggest everyone else head in the correct direction of North?!

Shop front of Sizer Jewellers at Huntriss Row, Scarborough - photo courtesy of Sizer Jewellers

Sizer Jewellers will be giving you a warm welcome from their shop at 44/46 Huntriss Row in Scarborough on Saturday 7th March, in just under 2 weeks time!

The lovely team at Sizer's have also thought of your comfort on the day and teamed up with a local cafĂ©, nearby Boddy’s of Bar street to provide free hot drinks, a voucher system will be in operation... you'll need to pay for your own lunch though!  

The cafe menu ranges from sandwiches to Jacket potatoes with a large seating area for sitting and discussing Trollbeads!

So now you know where it is, when it is and food arrangements... what's happening Trollbeads wise on the day??

Julie, one of the lovely Trollbeads Lampworkers will be demonstrating and making Trollbeads throughout the day!

As with most beadmaker events you can have your own bespoke Trollbead made for you on the day!

A £75 minimum spend in the shop and an available time slot are required to qualify for this offer, the bead you have made is FREE!

Photo of Amanda making my 2nd beadmaker bead at Cambridge by Mars
I have two beadmaker beads now, one from Sue and one from Amanda...
can't believe I'm missing out on a hat-trick by having Julie make me a third!

Sizer's have already started taking bookings for beadmaking slots for those people who want to guarantee them.  They can take bookings over the phone or via email (contact details at the bottom of the post) but will also be leaving plenty of spare places for on the day too.

The full list of what you can expect:
  • LIVE Beadmaking demonstrations throughout the day
  • Your very own FREE bead made by Julie on the day (Terms & Conditions apply)
  • A selection of rare sought after "Museum" Beads 
  • New OOAK kits
  • Gorgeous GOLD Trollbeads
  • Raffle Prizes
  • Lucky Dip
  • Goody Bags
  • Refreshments 
  • Trollbead Rep Andrew will be at the shop for the day
  • much more!!

There will be lots of offers e.g. the White Jewellery Box for £65 instead of £75 (<--- I love this box)

The raffle and lucky dip will be raising money for the local Marie Curie Appeal and The Snowdrop Appeal (a local charity at the hospital raising money for a bereavement suite for the maternity unit).

Travel, parking and staying over
Their location is fairly central, just an 8 minute walk from the train station (according to Google). Trains run from York and Leeds every hour if you don't fancy the drive (means you can indulge in some bubbly!)

If driving, there are two park and ride stations, the buses from both stop at the end of Huntriss row which is where the shop is, with an even quicker 10 second stroll to the shop!

If driving in to the town, The Palm Court car park is opposite the shop.

The team says if you want to make a longer trip, hotel wise... the Premier Inn is a one minute walk away, it is a new inn and good quality accommodation.  For more traditional hotels, the Palm Court and the Royal Hotel are also good and one and two minutes away!

About Sizer Jewellers
We are a family run business, the day to day running is by myself Carrie and my Husband Andrew.

The team at Sizer Jewellers - photo courtesy of Sizer Jewellers

We will both be in the shop along with our lovely staff Juliet, Christine and Diane.  We are hoping to ensure that it is a fun filled day with lots of conversation, free flowing bubbly and cakes!  Usually a great mixture when selecting beads!

We have a huge selection of beads and have a bespoke display that makes viewing the beads so much easier.

To Book Your Place
Call Sizer Jewellers on 01723 372867 or email

Will you be heading in the correct direction to North Yorkshire on the 7th March?

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Spirit in the Sky Braclet & Babylonian Nymph Bangle

I had a burning urge to finish my Spirit in the Sky bracelet, I recognised that feeling, this one wasn't going to go away until I'd fed it what it wanted.  Er, yes, I sometimes have the equivalent of a bead demon on my shoulder... and when it does visit, it doesn't go away.

Time to get to work, I thought I needed a few more beads to finish this bracelet so I duly carried on with my buying pattern.  Turns out it's a really good idea to revisit your actual project (not the image in your head) as I didn't have as much space available as I thought... more than enough beads bought (oops) and it was time to reorganise.

Trollbeads Spirit in the Sky Bracelet (final version)

I mentioned that were a few beads left over but I didn't want to make another complementary bangle as such, as my Spirit in the Sky bracelet will be worn by itself, and besides, the beads I had left were small and beautiful versions, i.e. super tiny!  It did however, give me a great chance to use another bead I love but haven't got much use out of yet!

My Babylonian Nymph arrived a year ago, and as much as I love this bead A LOT, it has been relatively under used - I've found previously that the setting is never good enough to show her off.  I think she's finally found her home!

So two epic wrist appendages achieved and all because I accidentally over bought on those navy galaxies... very happy Mars today indeed!

I'm chuffed to bits to have finished such a long term project
and have a beautiful bracelet (and unexpected bangle) as the result.

What long term project do you hope to finish/have finished that makes you happy?

Saturday 14 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well it's that time of year and I hear that you can be a soppy lot... so Happy Valentine's Day from me to you!

Here were the heart themed bangles, bracelet and necklace I made last July with a Valentine's Day theme in mind.  As you may have seen these before I decided to turn them into a Heart Banner instead, if you want to see the proper photos you can nip back to last July via the archive lists to the right.  

Oops thinking about it, if you're on a mobile device you won't have a clue what I'm talking about, in that case click here instead!

It also seemed like an apt time to show you my Trollbeads Valentine's Day Collection Collage. 

Trollbeads Valentine's Collection 2015

This release did make a brief appearance in my Trollbeads Cambridge Preview Evening post as part of the live photos if you would prefer to have a look at those instead.

Make sure you have a lovely day, not just today but each and every day.  Don't forget to tell those you love just how much you love them every day.  It's never too late to start being soppy!

Love Mars xx

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Eske Storm Dragon Claw for Sue

In the past the posts that have marked the 100s have seen me looking at the links between jewellery and something more meaningful than just the "ooh shiny" part of enjoying jewellery.  I've decided to carry on the tradition for Post No. 300.

Back in 1992, I bumped into my Uncle who, being only 4 years older than me and growing up only a few doors down, has always been more like an older brother to me than a uncle.

I was really taken with the lady he was sat next to.  Spiky blond hair, nails you could cut steak with and she was wearing the most incredible silver jewellery.  

Yes, my ooh shiny habit has been with me for many years!

Sue was sassy, warm, interesting, had a twinkle in her eye and a beautiful Welsh accent.

When she went to the ladies, I leant to one side and in a conspiratorial whisper said "I really like your new girlfriend" shortly followed by "Whatever you do, do not let this one go!".  They had such a spark between them.

What I didn't know, is that they weren't a couple, they had literally just met.

I *really* didn't believe this, as if Disney had drawn animations around them - it would have been all cupids shooting arrows, animals bounding around and big hearts appearing like bubbles.  I've never actually seen two people fall in love in quite such glorious technicolour.

Over the years we've often spoken about that night and told that story because I was *so* disbelieving that they weren't already a couple.

From that point on they became inseparable and spent a very fantastic 22 years together, travelling, emigrating, travelling and generally just being there for each other.  I'd always described them to friends who'd not met them, as... if the world were to fall apart, and they were the last two humans on the planet, as long as they had each other they would be fine.

And then the world did fall apart, only they weren't the last two humans left.  Sadly Sue died very unexpectedly last October and left the rest of us behind in shock.

In the days that followed we spent a lot of time catching up in the UK; we talked about life back then, now and in the future and I was asked to choose myself a piece of jewellery in memory of Sue.

I've been thinking long and hard about this gift.  The plan was to buy a bead, however I couldn't quite find anything that really spoke to me enough with regard to Sue - plus I change my bracelets around quite often and didn't want something to be sitting in my jewellery box between bracelets.

Finally I turned away from the bigger brands and went back to more artisan designers and decided on a piece by Eske Storm.  The female dragon claw was a perfect fit for what I was looking for.

I'm currently wearing this on a Trollbeads Leather Necklace but expect to see this appear on bracelets and bangles in the future!

My Eske Storm Dragon Claw for Sue

My gift covered more than just the claw... I wasn't sure what to do with the rest until I saw Ohm's Rawr release, Sue will now also be remembered by helping to fund some dinosaur skulls in silver... Given that she once bought an actual human glass eye as a ring... I think she would have approved of my choices.

Have you ever bought jewellery in memory of someone?
How did you choose what to pick?

Monday 9 February 2015

Wedding Jewellery from Oresome Gallery

This Saturday saw the official launch of a bespoke range of wedding jewellery by Oresome partners Nicola Fidell Chapman and Victoria Prince.

A perfect time to take a stroll around Hull Marina and into Oresome Gallery - pleasantly located at the side of the Marina and across the road from the utterly delicious Thieving Harry's cafe.

Oresome Gallery and Workshop are a mostly undiscovered gem for a lot of people.  I'm always torn between writing about them a LOT, and never ever mentioning them again to keep them all to myself... but if you live nearby, or visit Hull in the future, they are definitely worth a trip!

I really enjoyed looking at all the new wedding jewellery on Saturday, I tried a couple on myself.  I was particularly drawn to two of Nicola's designs, well technically four, as it was two different sets - comprising of an engagement ring and wedding band apiece.

The way the bands fit together was exquisite and I loved the flowing lines of the design and the stones used... and they fit me perfectly... dangerous times!

I don't have close ups of those two sets, but if you're in the area I'd urge you to pop in and take a look for yourself, the rest of the gallery is worth looking at too and you can always pop in to the cafe for a drink or a bite to eat.

The rings are beautifully made and all very different.  (Yes Mars, they're bespoke, that's what that means, stop rambling and show us what pics you did remember to take!)

Unlike my lovely female hand model for the top 3 rings (beautiful nails) I couldn't find a male to model a gent's ring, so if you wouldn't mind please could you imagine the ring below on a slightly larger, more masculine hand for me?  That's great, thank you!

Victoria and Nicola take commissions as well as selling their own designs, so if you have an idea for a piece of jewellery you can talk to them about how to make that a reality.

If you're feeling personally creative you can actually design and make your own wedding rings as part of a course - private tuition for two people over 2 weekend days.

All course details are here on their website - they also run bite-sized taster sessions in making glass beads, rings, earrings, pendants and even cufflinks!

If you're interested in how a ring is made, or what a workshop would be like - here is my account of the making rings taster workshop - a fab way to spend a Sunday!

Have you ever had a piece of jewellery made especially for you?
What was it, or what would you love to have made?

Or perhaps you already make your own... what do you create for yourself?

Friday 6 February 2015

When beads align - Bumpalicious Bangle

Two things happened to bring about a lovely bangle, firstly I bought a fabulous bumpy Elfbead - Swamp Dewdrops.

Then my wonderful Secret Santa sent me a bead from my wishlist... a second Trollbeads Lotus Top to match my first...

Add them all together to create a lovely textured bangle!

My Bumpalicious Bangle

The effect from Swamp Dewdrops reminded me of a similar effect from retired Trollbeads Red Berry - they look quite similar from the sides, I love this style of bead!

Left - Trollbeads retired red berry next to the Elfbead on the bangle
Right - Elfbeads Swamp Dewdrops, side angle

However they are completely different when viewed from the front, not just the size of the bead and the number & size of the bumps, but in how the colour blends through to the front of the bead.

L-R: Trollbeads retired Red Berry next to Elfbeads Swamp Dewdrops

I love both these beads but I only have one of each... I think I actually need two of each - multiple disease strikes again!

Are you a fan of heavily textured beads and silvers?  To bump or not to bump?
Those are today's questions!

Monday 2 February 2015

X by Trollbeads - Limited Edition Red Rubber Links

Continuing with the red theme from last month; it was time to break out the new X links for a play! Or old X links if you're just ordering the new pink ones!! (Mine are in the post)

Trollbeads Stock Photo of Red and Bronze Starter Bracelet

I'd ordered the red & bronze My Star Starter Bracelet during the pre-order window so that I had it for release day, I was that sure I was going to love the red links.  I wasn't wrong and I ordered extra links as soon as the bracelet arrived.

Er, and then I put them away... for 2 months.  It sounds daft, but I wanted to do them justice and not just throw something together.  However I had no idea just how busy I was going to be in the coming months and that it would take quite so long to come back to them!

I wanted to do 2 red bracelets and 2 black and red bracelets, as well as incorporating my new (to me) much longed for Serpents link, oh and I wanted all 4 bracelets to work together as well as apart, at the same time, mix'n'match - not much to ask for a first session?!

Red, silver and bronze Triple My Star X by Trollbeads Bracelet.

Firstly I created a red, silver and bronze design using the 3 My Star links, (1 bronze, 2 silver) and using some single bronze links to make them stand out a bit more in the bracelet.

Secondly I made a red and silver bracelet using my new (to me) Serpents link and paired this with Lots of Love and Order in Chaos, both beautifully textured double silver links that I use repeatedly in my X bracelets.

L-R: Lots of Love, Serpents, Order in Chaos double silver X by Trollbeads links with the LE red rubber X links.

Now it was time to start on the 2 red and black bracelets.

One was to alternate black and red links in groups of 3's tied with a single silver knot link and one was going to be a half and half mix of blocked colour with a bronze & silver centrepiece of bronze My Heart flanked by a Soundwave link on either side.

Time to put them all together, firstly laid out in a line so you can see all the detail in all 4 bracelets at once.

When I put them on I flip the alternating black and red one (2nd from the top) so that the section that is 3 black/6 red matches up with the black on the other bracelet, and vice versa.

They are laid out in the order I wear them top to bottom, this is deliberate as the stars are bigger links and work well at the bottom framing the piece and the multi-black & red ones in the middle, topped off with my all red/silver combo.

My new quadruple stack of X by Trollbeads Bracelets, featuring red, black, silver and bronze links.

Below is a collection of images of what they look like on my wrist. 

When I put a new X stack on I tend to flick my wrist repeatedly, so it acts like a 4-reel one arm bandit - this way I can see what the stack will look like as the bracelets move throughout the day, and see whether there are any odd looking combinations that don't look quite right.

This stack passed first time with no adjustments... must have been all that thinking time I had in the last 2 months!!

My Red and Black X by Trollbeads Super Stack!

One of the advantages of X by Trollbeads is that it is such a light bracelet system that you can stack 4 high and it's featherlight on your wrists, as well as being much kinder to those of us who need to type during the day (or night)!

The red links are a winner with me, I could see how I would use them immediately when they arrived, and now I've made them up these will get a lot of use.  I'm still on the fence with the LE Ocean Blue Links, they remain pretty static in my jewellery box and are definitely not an everyday colour for me, I shall hang onto them regardless, who knows when inspiration might strike!

The red links were definitely worth the wait... for me!
What do you think?