Monday 26 October 2015

A Different Kind of Halloween

I was convinced that I would need to break up last year's Halloween Bracelet* in order to make another as there were so many "must have" beads on that bracelet and I love the combination of black, orange and green!

*actually in my case an all year round bracelet - bats and skulls are not just for October!

OHM's lovely Deadhead Bead arrived just in time!

Then, being stubborn I decided to try and do something completely different with my haul of new beads - mixing them with beads that are currently "off bangle", available and perhaps some that have not seen much action lately!

This is what transpired, it is totally NOT what I had in mind when I ordered my new beads!

I went for a completely different colour palette of soft pinks and purples with metallic blues, hard stone and a sprinkling of soft black just to add some contrast.

The detailing in OHM's Deadhead bead is fabulous and you can just see the chain peeking through the eye and the teeth; I can't wait to try this on a coloured leather bracelet!

Another stand out bead for me is Elfbeads Everscale silver.  I love the sweeping curves that are not neat and even, and when you find the sweet spot for it on a bracelet it really *pops* - yes I know that sounds so cliched but it actually does!  Here I've used it nestled in between Trollbeads Blue Tiger and the original Aurora bead.

New to me, but an older Trollbeads Halloween bead is the Spider, it tends to spin on a bracelet looking like it's about to start creating a new web any second, it's a gorgeously detailed bead for those of us with a fondness for our 8 legged friends!

Another new one from my haul was Redbalifrog's Book of Spells, a  different design front to back and lovely "bookmark" detailing on the top and bottom of the bead.  Here it's between my Trollbeads Blue Hematite and Aurora Stripes, and to finish off this side of the lock; another of my favourites... one of my retired Trollbeads Zodiac Stars in Onyx.

My glorious new (to me) Redbalifrog Frog Lock, I've had my eye on this lock ever since it was released and I finally have one.  Longer than my average locks (think Big Fish/Flower in Trollbeads terms) it adds length to my bracelet but nothing I need to worry about.

Trollbeads Three Monkeys is another old bead, but again one that I've only recently picked up and not really used yet.  Great detailing as is often the case with older silvers, and it complements the same level of details on the new Trollbeads Heart Catcher (or more recently rebranded Wicked Web?).  A Spider on one side and a Heart on the other, either way, it's becoming a firm favourite of mine!

Incidentally on the Heart Catcher / Wicked Web shown above you can just about see that the heart and the spider are lined up in the same spot!

Another new silver (I really was on a shopping roll) was Cyclops Skull from Redbalifrog, I fell in love with this as soon as I saw the campaign images; it's just as glorious and full of detail in real life as we've come to expect from Redbalifrog.

Finally Trollbeads Silver Path of Life is seen here in between the Valentine bead from 2014 and the Aurora Flower bead.  I've barely used the Valentine bead but I love the contrast here between the copper hearts and the skull!

I had this bracelet as a Work in Progress when I first photographed it late at night to show some friends - but in truth I've not changed anything about it from my late night bead play.  All I needed to finish it was to see it again in daylight to realise I'd cracked it first time around.

What do you think to my new take on my Halloween Bracelet?
New era or should I stick to my beloved orange, green and black?

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

I'm having a Victor Meldrew moment here... a glorious 5 days of feeling much better after Lurgy 1.0 finally gave up defeated after our epic month long battle, and then I went down with Lurgy 2.0 on Friday...

An unexpected visitor who came to see
what I was up to last week... I think he heard about
my new Redbalifrog Lock!

So far it appears to be a faster, quicker version so I'm hoping it's also a shorter version and that I might be sane & healthy by the weekend.  I really don't fancy another 4 week stint - I have plans and a life to get back to!

As a result of Lurgy 1.0 I indulged in my Redbalifrog Wishlist starting with the Dragon Lock that's been at the VERY top of my lock wishlist for years.  This was shortly followed by the Frog Lock from the 2014 Me'Lange Collection and two of the charms from the Myths and Legends Collection that debuted earlier this year: Book of Spells and Cyclops Skull.  Which you might notice is doing a headstand for the photo, bear with me, it's been one of those weeks!

Look what happens when you're stuck at home ill!

In the background you can see I'm catching up with my rubber links from X Jewellery, the not so new but gorgeous Khaki colour, with more on the way now I've seen the colour in person!

I also wanted to show you what's been on my wrist this last week or two, a slightly belated delivery of beads that have gone straight from parcel to bangle.

Scott Bouwens Glass Beads

Two gorgeously deep red and black beads from Scott Bouwens - if the name sounds familiar to Trollbeads fans, Scott was the designer of the Rocky Beach Kit!

These weren't the only beads that arrived, nor my only Scott beads... but it's time to have another Lemsip and I'm flagging a bit.. so I'll leave you with just these for  now!

What new things are you looking forward to?

Monday 12 October 2015

Story by Kranz and Ziegler - Watch Charm Review

When I first heard the news that Story would be releasing their watch charms to the UK market I was really excited to turn my bracelet into a watch... it was 1 year later when I finally got my wish!

Photos really don't do this justice but I will try...

The charm is silver coloured high gloss polished steel with genuine shards of mother-of-pearl and with the bling of 12 Swarovski Crystals.

It has a hoop on the back in the same way as any other button charm, so you just slide and twist on to the bracelet.  As they are a snug fit twisting them on makes it easier - less friction and less chance of causing any damage to the bracelet, once on they stay put!  Just twist off when you decide to change your design again.

I've styled my watch a few different ways since I got it but I kept coming back to the watch and heart on my black lambskin below.

I only popped into the shop I bought it from randomly on the off chance whilst I was passing... they had 3 more designs in stock at the time.

Story do offer a much wider range than these four designs - you can click on the link at the top of the post for a much more detailed look at the ones that were released to the UK market last year; the first two in the photo above were part of a much more recent collection.

Sadly though my story doesn't have a happy ending... buyer beware!

My battery ran out and needed replacing, as they do!  As my normal watch battery had also run down I took both to a shop to buy some new batteries.

My battery was changed by the shop in both cases, but they were not impressed by the Story watch charm at all - as it was hard to get the back off, and almost impossible to put it back on again.  They showed me what they were talking about so I could see for myself... I had to agree with them on that score but told them to go ahead and change it anyway as I really liked the watch.  That was my mistake...

The design of the charm as a watch is, in my opinion, not great in terms of being able to change the battery, something that is fairly critical to owning a battery powered watch - my watch charm was in fact damaged when the back was eventually put back on - the face was cracked and it stopped working all together!

I took it back to the original shop I bought it from (well within the 12 months), as after talking to fellow Story fans I discovered I wasn't the only one who had been disappointed by the lack of a practical design - indeed others had returned theirs for a refund.

The original shop would not refund or issue a credit, as the battery had been changed by someone other than them, and they did not believe it was a bad design.  Story would not refund or credit but would repair it (at my cost) after I'd paid for the charm to be sent back - but couldn't say how much it would cost until they'd seen it in person.

So given that I don't think the design is up to par for using it as a watch in a practical sense, I've decided to sadly write off my £69 - and not spend any further money posting it back to Story to get a quote for repair as I do feel I would be throwing good money after bad.

Ironically the original shop I bought it from, and everywhere else I shop in person or online for Story are also dropping the line.  So although I could pick up another watch charm at a fraction of the price I paid originally - I'd still be left with nowhere to change the battery lest I void my warranty!

I've really debated writing this post at all as generally my jewellery brings me joy, and this whole episode has left me feeling both angry and upset in equal measure.  However having enthused so much about the watch charms on the blog, I feel I should at least share my experience and leave you to make up your own minds - hopefully my experience is in the minority!

I've never had any quality issues with any of my other Story charms, I love the brand to bits and I'm really sad that so many shops in the UK are dropping the line; I do think it's the best of it's kind for that type of bracelet and charms!

But my advice to anyone who has bought a watch charm would be:
Make sure you take it back to the original shop you bought it from
when the battery needs changing - just in case! 

Friday 9 October 2015

Flashback Friday

Today, as I was sat at my desk sniffing my OHM bead box that arrived this week (it's scented... I haven't totally lost the plot) I was contemplating the bracelets I made this time last year.

It's not surprising that they are still on my mind as I've recently received the new Trollbeads Collectors Case and I was quite gobsmacked, usually being a make and break bracelet kind of a woman, to note that nearly all of those bracelets are still made up in a similar form to how I put them together last October!!

My bracelet from last October

I love the colours in this and the combination of beads that I've been wearing it all year round, for a year!! The only change is that I needed Lenny (my main Skelly) for my 1st incarnation of my Spirit in the Sky bracelet so off he came and Snails in Love was substituted as a focal.

I adore Halloween, not for the holiday, but for the fact that often brands come out with Halloween themed beads (as they see them) that I enjoy ALL year round.

I've just had a delivery of quite a few new beads for this year's bracelet, thanks to an abandoned holiday, but I'm not sure I'm ready to break this one up yet... although I do need quite a few beads from it for the new one!

What will you be wearing this October?