Monday 6 July 2015

Unblogged Bead Challenge: 37 beads & 13 bangles later...

Picture the scene: Sunday afternoon, dabbling in a bit of gardening, but then the heavens open and the rain starts in earnest... so back indoors I go...

Then I got one of those crazy rainy afternoon ideas... why don't I challenge myself to put all my unblogged beads in a big pile, all 37 of them as it turns out, and make up some bangles!

To make it more tricky, I would NOT allow myself to use any other beads from my beadbox - 'cos I'm sometimes mean like that, and besides it's supposed to be a challenge!

Some of these beads date as far back as July 2013, so that's 2 years I've had them without ever mentioning them on Curling Stones for Lego People, well apart from when I did U is for Unblogged Beads - and I have included those two beads today as I figured it would be cheating otherwise.

So several head scratching moments and some thunder for that atmospheric background music and here are my results!

Some of the photos are a bit dark, as this was a "Yay let's do this whilst it's raining on Sunday afternoon" post, so it was a bit spontaneous, a bit dark at times and I didn't get out my light tent either... rebel without a cause thought!

1.  Trollbeads Grey & Pink Glass and Stone Bangle
The focal is a second Ruby Rock stone bead that I bought preloved back in August 2014, matched with 2 grey prisms, one of my A-Z unblogged beads and a striped bead from July 2013.

I really like this combo, if I'd been able to choose from my bead box, I would just swap out the striped bead for something else as it's pink is a little bright - I would have gone for something that's a bit more muted to match the others.

2.  Elfbeads Strawberry Dewdrops and matching LE Trollbeads Armadillos Bangle
When I put these together, if I didn't know they were two separate brands, I would have sworn they were made as a set; the colours match perfectly.

There are quite a few armadillo beads coming up, I am still a bit confused as to why I buy them as, apart from my retired green ones, I don't wear them nearly enough... probably that's why there are so many in my Unblogged list.  These purple and red ones were an impulse buy because they are LE, I'm working on curbing this impulse!

3.  Trollbeads Small & Beautiful Ridged Beads with Engraved Fuchsia Bangle
I acquired my first pink ridged bead, preloved, after quite a search for one in August 2013, and it took me until March 2014 to find a second one when a batch of them started to reappear with retailers again.

The Engraved Fuchsia is from September 2013 as it was part of the Fall Collection from that year, it's been worn a few times but never seems to make it to the blog!  I like this bangle so much it's stayed on my wrist all afternoon.

4.  Trollbeads LE Armadillo, Unique & Beadmaker Bead Bangle
Much like bangle No.2 I would have sworn these 3 were made as a set.  The pink & black unique I've had since July 2013, I've no idea why it's an unblogged bead because I *adore* it and I'm sat here wondering how on earth it's been left out for 2 years, shame on me!

My gorgeous Trollbeads Beadmaker Bead is a new addition that I've only had for a few months, it was made for me by the wonderful Julie from Lush Art Glass (formerly Lush Lampwork) whilst she was at Sizers Jewellers in Scarborough on behalf of Trollbeads.

Readers may remember that I really disappointed that I couldn't attend the Sizers Event back in March as I was off on a prearranged weekend with friends in West Yorkshire, Sizers had a great event and kindly arranged for me to receive my bead, even though I couldn't attend in person on the day - thank you so much!!

P.S. - Sizers have another Trollbeads Beadmaker Event planned for 7th November with Julie, so I hope I can go and get another bead from her in person later this year.

5.  Artisan Carved Amber Starfish, Trollbeads Critter, Unique & Matt Orange Agates Bangle
Some new beads!! The orange agates are from the recent LE Sunbeam Kit last month, I would have loved some green agates to match but I wanted to wait to pick my own stones and I missed out as they disappeared so quickly.

The artisan carved amber starfish will eventually find it's way onto my carved amber bracelet but I think it suits being paired with the agates for now.  Originally this was a 3 bead bangle, but as I was playing I thought the orange in the fish and the blues on both the beads made a nice contrast to the orange.

6.  Artisan Carved Amber Snake
This was my other artisan amber, it's a snake, not that you can see that very well on the photo, my bad!

The weather had taken a turn for the worse at this stage, it was very dark, plus for some reason my phone camera was having problems focusing... like I said in the intro, this was a spontaneous post and I had a lot of work to do, so I still didn't get the light tent out and just carried on, thankfully it did get a bit lighter after this!

I placed the bead on it's own, as it didn't really play well with the other unblogged beads in a combo, although the plan was to use all 37 beads I was still trying to make bangles I'd wear and not just for the challenge!

7. Trollbeads Small & Beautifuls with Elfbeads Silver Everstar
I've had both these small and beautiful beads since 2014 but the Everstar is bit newer from February of this year.

With a lot of the small and beautifuls I love the patterns but find that I don't always use them as much as I thought I would as they are quite distinct.  Hopefully I'll learn to make much smaller beads myself and be able to rectify this in the future - I think if I make some plainer beads that might help me use more of the small and beautiful ones on full bracelets, and not just on bangles.

8. Elfbeads Darkness Fractal Nets with Trollbeads Armadillos
I did mention there would be a few more armadillos coming up didn't I?  I bought my first black one back in July 2013 but I haven't used it at all; at the time I had very few black beads and it never seemed to make it onto any of my bracelets.  I began to feel that I really should get a second one for bangle combos!

My Elfbeads Darkness Fractal Nets are unworn since I bought them last December and  I've been contemplating selling them.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to do anything with them and thought that perhaps they are just not for me...  I might have to have a rethink, as I really like them in this combo!

My pink armadillo was bought as a multiple to match my other pink one (I think I see a pattern emerging), however I have a little and large thing going on with them as, unfortunately, they are completely different sizes.

9.  Redbalifrog & Heidi's Klimt Bangle
This is a special limited edition bead that was a collaboration between Redbalifrog and Heidi's Trollbeads (a shop), it was one of two beads created in 2012 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Klimt's birthday.

The bead depicts The Tree of Life and has Homage a Klimt written across the top and 1862 - 2012 along the bottom of the bead.

I loved this at the time it was released, but back then I was a very new Trollbeads collector and hadn't ventured into trying other brands, so I was delighted to discover it (preloved) back in May last year, this is another "I can't believe I haven't told you about this yet" bead!

10.  Trollbeads 3 Monkeys and Artisan Glass Unique
I originally bought the glass bead to match a black and yellow jasper stone but unfortunately they didn't match in the slightest... looking at the two beads in my beadbox I can't imagine why I thought they would, creamy yellow on the glass and harsh yellow on the stone!

The glass bead is unusual but I do like it in it's own right, the buds are a lovely metallic coloured glass which blend nicely with the details on the silver bead next to it.

I picked up 3 Monkeys in a closing down sale in May last year, it was on my wanted list of beads and I must admit that the clearance sales are usually somewhere that I tend to pick up a lot of older wishlist beads.

11.  Elfbeads White Jade and Everscale with Trollbeads Howlite Bangle
These 3 are some of my newer beads from this year, although I've had White Jade and Everscale from Elfbeads for a while, my gorgeous Howlite from the Trollbeads Sunbeam Kit has been with me only a few scant weeks.

My plan was to use Everscale on a dragon bracelet, and it still is, but I love how this sits between the two stones that are both different.  I wouldn't have paired these two stones or everscale deliberately, but I think doing Challenges like this forces you into combinations that you might not obviously make.  I think we all can be guilty of going to our "usual" combination ideas - I think this one might be together for a while!

12.  Trollbeads Shadow Flower and Winter Jewel Flower Stalk Bangle.
I picked up Shadow Flower way back in March 2014, tried it on a Fantasy Necklace which it's designed for, didn't like it, and put it back in bead box.

When I went to the Hugh Rice Blogger Event back in April this year, I was trying out various bangle combos and made a Shadow Flower bangle with a "red bead flower stalk" worn off centre on the bangle.  Since then that's been my default way of wearing Shadow Flower!!

Winter Jewel is a new addition for me, picked up in a clearance sale and I "stole" my pink ridged beads off Bangle No. 3 to match - it's the only time I've used beads on 2 bangles in the Challenge but it looked so cool I couldn't not blog the bangle this way!

So please excuse my "cheating" - at least they weren't out of the beadbox!

13.  Trollbeads Brown Desert Bangle
Brown Desert, last but not least, but sadly on it's own!

Although it was possible to pair this with some of the other unblogged beads, the fact that I wanted to showcase other combos meant this one ended up by itself today.  It's my second brown desert though and I don't think it will be my last.

I hope we'll be getting some new darker sparkly beads in the upcoming Trollbeads Collection, if so, I can see a darker sparkly bracelet in my future!

This could just as easily be done with Unworn, Forgotten or Barely Worn Beads as a Challenge, if you find yourself making the same old combos, why not give it a go?

What are your "unblogged" beads?
Or is it only me who doesn't always use their beads straight away?!


  1. Great blog! There are some lovely combos here - I particularly like the first one. I did something similar once and cleared out all the beads in my beadbox which weren't on permanent bracelets and made a new bracelet from them. That is now a permanent bracelet on its own because I liked the result so much.

    1. On a side note I was counting up my made up bracelets and was shocked to find there were 9... my make and break habit is becoming a bit more of a make and leave together habit! I used to have only have 2-3 permanent combos on the go... when I get my new case it's definitely time for a proper sort out.

      I really like some of these combos, it was a good excercise in ignoring the obvious and trying out some new ideas.

      Also quite cathartic to have such a clear out of my unblogged beads too!

      Mars xx

  2. Love these! I think my favourite is no. 11 - Everscale has been on my wishlist for a while. It looks stunning on your bangle. I love your hot pink stripe bead in no. 1 too - I keep asking beadmakers for something with a strong fuchsia pink like this, and they keep telling me it's impossible to achieve with glass! I think I'll have to keep trying...

    1. No.11 surprised me, I would never normally put together those stones as they are too similar being pale, yet so different - but when I did put them together the whole combo just seemed to click with Everscale, it's good to do something different, it's why I like challenges.

      I often hear beadmakers saying there aren't a lot of decent pinks out there that play nicely, will let you know if I come across any! I quite fancy a nice hot pink too! That particular pink/purple stripe was bought preloved from a friend, don't think I've seen anything similar since.

      We'll all have to be on hot pink watch! (er, actually that sounds a bit rude, but you and I know what we mean)

      Mars xx

  3. This looks like a great way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon. :) If you ever get tired of that green and black in combo 4, I'd be happy to rehome it!! :D That's also a beauty of a brown desert that you have.

    Everscale keeps jumping on and off my wishlist, so it was nice to see it with other beads too.

    I'm sure I have unblogged beads, although I'd have to dig through pictures a bit to see which ones have never made it on a combo. And I think I'd have to use other beads from my beadbox since I think I don't have that many. Although I suspect if I did the challenge I would find out it was more than I thought!

    1. It was nice surprise and far more fun than weeding (which I only ever do when I need to paint the fence), it was really stormy and the thunder was superb, played havoc with my lighting though!

      Ah my Beadmaker Bead from Julie, isn't it lush? (Oops excuse the pun). I asked for a green version of my pink and blue versions, I think she did wonderfully I was so pleased when it arrived, surpassed my expectations. That's never leaving my stash!

      I think Brown Desert is an oftern underestimated bead, it's such a gorgeous colour, I've another Magical Lamp on the way so 2 of each very soon - if the new collection also contains some other brown sparklies I can see a new combo coming on!! Not that I have any spare cash at the moment but I'm sure if I dig deep enough down the back of the sofa I can shake a few pennies out!

      As I said earlier to Amanda, it was so cathartic to clear out my unblogged list... I've kept some of the newer beads back that I have ideas for, but this was my if I didn't have a definite plan I was about to put into action, it was going in the challenge!

      I didn't realise it would be so many either, my only excuse is that it's two years worth...

      Mars xx


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