Monday, 30 March 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015, 3, 2... (almost there)

For the second year running on Curling Stones for Lego People I bring you the A to Z Challenge!

1st April through to 30th April, 26 letters, 26 posts and 26 topics... but don't forget the 4 days off on Sundays!

In case you're wondering what letter falls when here is a handy calendar; I'm using this to remind me what letter to post!!

Additional Info if you need it!

My theme is Addicted to Beads - for more info you can read my A to Z Theme Reveal Post.

If you want to visit the main challenge website - just click the badge on the top right of the page and that will take you there directly or click here.

Each post will be quite short, this is to help both me and the other participants as we will be blog hopping our way around as many of the blogs taking part as we can!  If you want to join us, here is the main list.  Follow at random or in a more orderly fashion, it's your choice!

I'm aiming to post on Curling Stones by 7.00am GMT on each of the Challenge Days.
Latest update: However since I decided to start the challenge life has got in the way and I have less than a handful of posts finished, or even letters decided... so bear with me on the timings... I think before midnight might be more accurate!

The subscription emails will go out sometime after 9am so for the easiest way to follow - just sign up with your email.  You can find the subscription box on the right hand side of the web page (under the archive post lists), you will then receive a verification email to reply to and then voila, your emails will be delivered to you each time there's new content.  You can unsubscribe at any time by just clicking on the unsubscribe link on the emails - or contact me directly via the blog.

If you use Bloglovin' or GFC you can follow through these methods, keep an eye on my Twitter feed, my Facebook Page or follow the links on Pinterest.

If you're like me, you can do it the old fashioned way, just bookmark the page and come back whenever you like!

Please consider leaving a comment if you visit any blogs during the challenge,
it really does help motivate the bloggers taking part!

Monday, 23 March 2015

A to Z Theme Reveal - Addicted to Beads!!

My A to Z Challenge Theme is...


Last year during the A to Z challenge I went random; this was great as it allowed me to cover a whole host of jewellery themed topics but this year I wanted to focus on something a bit more specific.

This will allow me to take a step away from my usual writing of collections and bracelet designs and focus on either the beads themselves or what it means to be addicted with hopefully some funny, quirky or random stories along the way... or just some pretty pictures!

Posts will be VERY short to allow other A to Z participants to blog hop quickly through Curling Stones and will require no prior jewellery knowledge!

For my regular readers you will be getting a short burst every day for 26 days throughout April, rather than a more leisurely read once or twice a week!  Please pop by and say hi as normal, or just to cheer me on.

Don't forget to come back to check out my Hull Fashion Week posts too as those will be live during April... I hope I make it to the end as I'm off on holiday before we finish!!

Will you be joining me on my A to Z journey, for Hull Fashion Week, or both??

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Ohm Beads - Rawr Dinosaur Skulls

You know I'm rather fond of skulls in jewellery?

Ohm Beads have taken me one step closer to utter jewellery perfection, forget human or bird skulls... Ohm have given us all Dinosaur Skulls!

I'm so fond of these that I've actually swapped* my car for them!


T-Rex first appeared a year ago as a one off bead (at the time), he's absolutely delicious and I wanted him immediately.  However, as often happens, other beads rose to the top of the wishlist instead - I wasn't sure I was ready for just one big dinosaur skull... secretly I always hoped there would be more!

When the Rawr Collection was announced with a further THREE skulls released ready for January 2015, I knew I was always going to find a way to fund these, it's not often I get massively excited by a new release that I have to have it ALL at once as soon as it's available.

Well not technically all as I didn't pick up any of the glass beads from the Rawr Collection, they do match the skulls beautifully if you want to go take a peek over at Ohm's website, and I do really like the design.

Aside from budget limitations, I tend to avoid glass that is branded with the name visible on the core but that's just my personal preference.  I think one day I might want a glass Ohm Bead more than I care about visible branding.


Try saying that when you've had a few!  Actually I can't say, or spell it when I'm sober either! Checks spelling of it for 7th time... 

It's a true likeness of the actual skull, as are all of these which is another reason why I love this collection.  It looks very striking on my bracelet and I've positioned it so it sits on the side curve to make the best use of it's shape.


I always feel this skull looks so happy!  It has great detailing and I adore the horns on the top.

Like Parasaurolophus it can sit a bit quirky if you want the collar to neatly hug the bead it's next to, but I really like that Ohm have stuck to anatomically correct rather than changing the design to make it cutesy or overly bead friendly.  On the bracelet I've placed it next to a bead that I feel complements this part of the design.


The Velociraptor Skull is a long bead, it's the only one where if you pinch the nose together there is a slight movement that can be felt.  I don't think this would cause any issues as it doesn't feel too fragile for normal wear and tear.

Although designed to fit the bracelet lengthwise, will also fit a Trollbeads bracelet vertically as the eyes are large enough for the bracelet to pass through.


I'd always wanted an organic feel to this bracelet - originally I included more colours, still earthy tones, but it detracted from the skulls too much so I simplified the colours even further.

It can be quite hard to accommodate FOUR big centre pieces all on one 17cm bracelet.

The horns of the Triceratops skull can occasionally catch your clothing if you are wearing something that's susceptible to this... my top tip... don't wear your Rawr Bracelet when you're trying on mohair jumpers in a shop, a'hem!

Finally I must mention the lock as my ultimate plan is to use Redbalifrog's Dragon Lock, which will be perfect for this bracelet... but, er, I don't actually own that one right now - so you'll need to use your imagination when you see Trollbeads Elephant Lock instead!

I totally adore this collection, I think it's one of my favourite collections to date!

*sadly it was time for my lovely old car to go to the scrapyard and be (responsibly) scrapped... as anyone who has done this recently will know, you really don't get a lot of money for scrap these days.  However I couldn't bear to put the paltry sum back into my bank account, so I decided to wear it on my wrist instead as the proceeds went to help fund my Dinosaur Skulls.  As they, and now my car, are extinct it seemed a fair swap!

What do you think to Ohm's Rawr Collection?
Will you be wearing Dinosaur Skulls this season?

Monday, 16 March 2015

Ahoy, all aboard Trollbeads Newport - 21st March 2015

Photo by Kay

Time to set sail for Wales!  Well if I'm going to buy any of the new Trollbeads Dragon beads where else would I go to buy them?

Your invitation to join Trollbeads Newport!

Next weekend (if all goes to plan aka bus willing) I hope to be finally attending one of the events from the up and coming Trollbeads Newport - a Trollbeads retailer for barely a year but making a very positive impression with their customers and other Trollbeads fans!

Photos by Trollbeads Newport

If the name seems familiar you may have read about them on World Trollbeads Day as part of the feature published on Curling Stones, or perhaps their more recent Winter Wonderland event from a few months ago.

Liz tells me that it's going to be a day of many offers,
a real treasure hunt for bargains!

Either way they are a shop to watch out for... better still, if you can, nip along next Saturday and join in the fun!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Elfbeads - Bead Castle Launch

Having dipped my toe into the Elfbeads pool with Great Lakes and my lovely LE glass dragon, I couldn't miss out on the Bead Castle launch with some LE glass Mystic Mulberries made especially for this event!

The Event Beads ranged in colour from light to dark and they all have a little air bubble in every single bud or bumpy.  Below is a photo of some of the lighter ones, these are gorgeous examples!

Light coloured Mystic Mulberries - Photo courtesy of Bead Castle

I had originally planned for 3 myself at the preorder stage, but sadly my car had other ideas so I had to scale back my spending quite dramatically!  (To celebrate the launch, if you bought 4 beads, you would receive a LE Mystic Mulberry bead for FREE!!)

The Bead Castle launch also coincided with a new release from Elfbeads so my order also saw me picking up new designs - 2 Sea Devils and 2 Starwheels.  I'm so glad after it's debut at Christmas that the Starwheel bead is now part of the main collection.

Ironically, for once in my life, my order was rather co-ordinated (by coincidence not planned) and the 5 beads went straight from the envelope onto a bangle!

Mystic Mulberries
I asked the girls at Bead Castle if they could pick me out one of the darker Mystic Mulberries and they obliged me very nicely.

Sea Devils
My 2 Sea Devils are subtly different shades of blue, I'm not sure how well that can be seen in the photos below but I like them both whatever their colour!

My 2 Starwheels are actually my very first Elfbeads silvers.  These are beautifully dainty and I can't wait to try them out on a full bracelet later on.

More Mystic Mulberries!
Amazingly I was able to pick up another 2 Mystic Mulberries after the launch from Bead Castle via one of their bead parties on Facebook - so I did end up with the 3 I was planning for originally!

Sometimes you just get lucky!! Twice in my case!

What do you think of my picks from Elfbeads?
Any favourites?

If you fancy a Mystic Mulberry yourself, they are ONLY available to buy from Bead Castle as the bead is exclusive, and stock is very limited, as they are only made in small quantities and Bead Castle will continue to get a few in every month or so.  

Currently they are only sold via their Facebook Events as the colours vary so wildly.  When they come in and there is a FB event, a stick of the actual beads will be posted for people to choose from, first come, first served.  

If you are not on Facebook, I would suggest contacting them directly to see if they have any in stock, they may be willing to send you a photo if they are not overwhelmed with requests at the time. 

Please be polite and patient with any requests, as this is not the normal method of selling, and the small team at Bead Castle really would be going the extra mile for you, please bear in mind that they may not have any stock or they may be too busy to respond with photos.

Good luck!
Mars xx

Friday, 6 March 2015

Dark Fae Fantasy Necklace - Trollbeads Holly Bushes

I was delighted to receive Holly Bushes as part of a fabulous Secret Santa package back in December as it was one of the beads on my wishlist from the Winter 2014 Collection.

Holly Bushes is incredibly small but jam packed with details, which is amazing given it's size.  It depicts 3 Holly leaves on each side; one side has 3 berries and the other has 5.

Originally my plan was to use this as an end bead to my Wrapping Paper Christmas Bracelet... but then I had another idea.  I love to read fantasy books and the last few series I've read have been based on human & fae stories.

The majority of the fae in one of the last books I read were depicted at best as the traditional mischief making characters through to the downright evil, with only the tiniest hint at any neutral fae towards the end... thus these books sparked an idea for a darker Fantasy Necklace (FN).

It didn't require many beads but I think it was quite effective...

Dark Fae Fantasy Necklace

Used on a FN or a bracelet, I think Holly Bushes makes a great end bead; it partially covers the ring where the dangle or lock attaches which is a trick I love to use with some of the larger cored silver beads.

I had a lot of fun designing this necklace to match my book, but it's also good to wear!

Smaller beads... what do you do with yours?

Monday, 2 March 2015

A to Z Challenge - April 2015

If you read Curling Stones for Lego People via a computer, rather than on your mobile, you may have noticed a new badge appear at the top of the sidebar, you may even have been curious enough to check it out, you may have been with me through my A to Z journey in 2014, or only just discovered it when you read about it now.

I think I've definitely lost the plot this year as the A to Z Challenge clashes horribly with my role as one of the many official Hull Fashion Week Bloggers and I'm also organising a weekend away for many people for the start of May, in a slightly different country.  Crazy Times! 

What can you expect?
One post per day throughout April, with each post designated by the corresponding letter of the alphabet with Sundays off for sleep, or they would be if I wasn't going to have to squish all my other preparation and events into the only days I have free from the Challenge.

In particular during the challenge:
  • Posts will be short
  • CAPTCHA will be turned off to make commenting quicker and easier
  • I will be visiting as many blogs as I can - if you wish to read more blogs the full list is here and feel free to join in just as a reader
  • My theme is... well you'll just have to wait until my theme reveal post on 23rd March!
I'd love for you to join me in my journey, so whether as one of my blogging friends you join in the challenge yourself, or as a regular or new visitor you pop in during April to give me some support, you can sign up to receive posts direct by email, follow via Bloglovin', bookmark the page to check in directly or come back in May once it's safe and browse the A to Z in one go!  However you do it - I'd love to see you here!

Mars xx