Trollbeads Inspiration: Honey Bees




Don’t you adore the new Trollbeads Honey Bee Spacers?!  I am so enjoying them, and am using them on everything from Fantasy Necklaces and bangles to chain bracelets and even the new Ring of Change.  Just one Bee at the bottom of a fantasy necklace beautifully balances a bead on its wings, for a complete design in a snap.  A pair of bees frame a bead for a simple but dramatic bangle.  It’s an instant design maker with fabulous flair.

IMG_1970Full disclosure demands that I admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for Bees.  I’ve always identified them as being a special totem animal to me… Industrious, useful, working for the good of their family and community, and in harmony with nature… these are creatures that are inspiring and well worth emulating.  Historically virtually every culture has revered bees as being a very magical and special part of nature.  The Kalahari believed that the bee played a key role in the creation of the first human.  The bowstring of the Hindu god Kamadeva is said to be made of bees.

IMG_1969Bees figured prominently in the myths of the ancient Greeks, with several gods being affiliated with the tiny creatures.  Apollo, the sun god, is said to have acquired his powers from the Thriae, a trinity of bee goddesses that were far more ancient than the familiar pantheon of Greek gods. Among the later, classical Greek gods Aristaeus was the god of beekeepers.  In ancient Egyptian mythology the tears of the god Ra are said to have become bees.  These are only a few examples of the importance of bees in ancient and indigenous cultures… they have been revered from the beginning of humanity.


IMG_1968Today we read almost daily of the plight of the bee.  With our increasingly industrialized farming techniques, bees have become a commodity and a cog in the farming machine.  Their hives are transported from one side of the continent to the other, rushed from one crop pollination to another.  The plants they hover over are sprayed with complex fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, that impact not only on their immediate health, but modify their DNA to change the way generations of future bees function.  Bees are under physical and biological stresses that we are just beginning to understand – and they need our support in order to survive.  Imagine our world without bees… Consider the profound impact on our farms, our gardens, our wild places.



These remarkable little creatures have been quietly working in the background for millennia, making our world a better place.  Perhaps it is time that we saw them with some of the reverence that was paid to them by ancient peoples.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Lock”, “Copper Spacer”, “Unique Glass”, “Translucent Flower”, “Unique Glass”, “Cherry Blossom”, “Unique Glass”, “Black Gold”, “Tigers Eye”, “Unique Glass”, “Honey Bee Spacer”, “Diamond Bead, Black”, “Honey Bee Spacer”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Blossom Bead”, “Golden Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Copper Spacer”.




My Trollbeads Today

photo 3

Usually my bracelet compositions last a few days or a couple of weeks at most… but I have been in love with this combination for months.  Even with the change in seasons, this bracelet still is on my arm several days a week.  I’ve added one here, edited another there, but the basic theme of slate blue and honey gold continues to delight me.

photo 1

Clockwise from clasp:  “Peacock Pearl” (Limited Edition), “Family of Mushrooms” (World Tour Lithuania), “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Amber”, “Blue Desert”, “Silver Bead with Garnets” (retired), “Azure Bubbles”, “Labradorite”, “Jugend”, “Unique Amber”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Golden Quartz”, “Auspicious” (World Tour Hong Kong), “Labelled Labradorite – suspected Sapphire…”, “Brown Desert (retired), “Chinese Zodiac Rooster” (Limited Edition), “Azure Bubbles”, “New Unique 2014 – Blue Galaxy”, “Happy Fish” (retired), “Russian Pink Amber” (limited Edition).

The whole thing was inspired by the pair of richly ribboned, pale blue and toffee coloured “Azure Bubbles”.  (These days it always seems to start with an Azure…) Then I purchased the darker Azure that is in the center of the bracelet when I was in New York in September.  During the Autumn the navy “Blue Desert” appeared in a shipment at Tartooful… two of the Ambers were timely gifts from beloved Tartooful clients…. and so it goes, a new bracelet came together.

I have kept the silvers understated and slender, to allow the focus to stay on the beautiful range of colour in the glass, stone and amber beads.  I like the repeated shape of the silvers, as it gives a little rhythm to the bracelet.  As always, I have given the center of the bracelet to larger beads that set the tone, and have gently tapered the size of the beads to the tiny amber unique and the “peacock Pearl” at either end.

What are your Trollbeads today?



Trollbeads Inspiration: Honeycomb


honey7When I was little I remember going on a shopping trip to one of the food markets in Ulus, Ankara’s old town.  The steep, winding streets that follow the curve of the ancient hill are lined with different types of wares depending on the area.  In one it might might be mostly traditional copper wares, with men sitting

honey2outside, repairing and tinning copper vessels for a new lifespan.  On another block it might be mostly spices mounded high in bins.  Brightly coloured clothing, plastic household goods, carpets that are rolled and are fragrantly woolly… it’s all there in Ulus, you just have to know which street to wander down.

honey4This was not only on the other side of the world, but in another century… so I am a little fuzzy on the details of this particular Ulus adventure.  However, I do remember stepping away from my mother in an area filled with beautiful pyramids of fruit under sunlit umbrellas.  I knew just where she was, and wasn’t worried at all.

honey9Looking back on the incident with the clarity of years, I think she thought she had lost me, and when I reappeared she was exceptionally happy to see me again.  She didn’t scold me, at all… but in her relief she did let me pick out a piece of honeyfilled, waxy honeycomb from the jar she had just bought.  I must have been very sticky as I happily extracted all the honey from the soft beeswax, but she didn’t mind a bit.


Isn’t it funny the moments that stick in our memory?  It’s impossible to predict what minute incident will simply engrave itself and be there forever.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Troll Tree Lock”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Happy Fish”, “Honey Dawn”, “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Mocha”, “Dew Drops”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Drifting Seeds”, “Harmony”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Kaleidoscope”, “Unique Amber”, “Scirocco”, “Unique”.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Brown Sugar & Honey

IMG_0956Sometimes an entire bracelet is inspired by one, exceptional bead…


honey4…In this case, it was the Universal Unique that is placed in the very middle.  It has a clear grey base layer, that hints towards sage green.  On the surface there are butterscotch flowers, each one with a tiny ruby dot.  We’ve played with this bead constantly since it arrived,  but I think that so far, this particular combination is my favorite.

honey3I like the way that the soft green is repeated around the bracelet, enhancing the hint of sage in the grey of the central bead.  At times the green is clear, such as in the scalloped unique.  In other cases it’s more subtle, such as the olive-sparkle of two of the uniques, or the Labradorite.  There is even a touch of green hidden in this “Khaki Stripe”

honey7As the name suggests, Unique Ambers play a key role in this bracelet.  There are a variety of sizes, tones and shapes of Amber jostling for space here – buttery soft yellow, grainy oatmeal, deep, glossy chestnut and this lovely “dirty” one, shown at left.  The inclusions in this type of amber are fascinating, aren’t they?  We always check these ones over very carefully, just in case there’s a little mosquito hiding in there.

IMG_0955Notice the way that the light catches the ruby tone of the chestnut coloured amber unique right at the end… I like how it echoes the little rusty red dots and brings one’s attention all the way back to the middle, to the bead that inspired it all.



Clockwise from clasp:  “Freja Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Universal Unique”, “Urchin”, “Golden Quartz”, “Universal Unique”, “Yellow Amber” (retired), “Black Silk”, “Sweater” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Universal Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Sweater”, “Universal Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Labradorite”, “Khaki Stripe”, “Planet”, “Universal Unique”, “Grey Prism”.