Trollbeads Inspiration: Lightly Into the Dark

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img_2251Today, November 1st,  is a cluttered black square of type in my calendar… It’s the first day of the month, with all of the financial deadlines and chores that accompany a fresh month…it’s the day after Hallow’een, so we are all just a little groggy from sugar overload and a sleep punctuated with fireworks and firecrackers.  It’s also All Saints Day in the Christian calendar, or Samhain in the Celtic Pagan calendar.  No matter what your cultural background, here in the Northern Hemishphere there is no questioning the shift in light that accompanies the beginning of November.

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Gone are the memories of Summer – we are well and truly into the dark months of the year!

3-1The beginning of November feels like a shift.  Suddenly we expect the nights to be long, we expect the days to be cold and we look to the days of Winter ahead.  I awake in surreal darkness, convincing my skeptical body that it really is time to get up… and on rainy days it sometimes feels as though it never really gets fully light.  Curls of slate  coloured clouds catch on the curves of our local mountains and lazily hang there waiting for a breath of wind to push them along.  No wonder, then, that just now the veil feels thin between the world of the living and the world of those who have gone before.

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4-1So what are we to do?  Shiver here in our dim, grey existence?  Hardly!  We North Westerners have perfected our strategies for warmth and light. We celebrate the contrast of light and dark in thousands of tiny ways.  Some examples… You’ll find brilliantly uplit, spectacular trees in most gardens in my neighborhood.  That pop of green light is even more beautiful for being embraced by darkness.  we light our houses more and more as the very darkest time of year approaches, and by Christmas the entire city is aglow.  Inside you’ll find candles and fireplaces are de rigueur to banish the November chill and in the very darkest months I’ll even light candles at the breakfast table!

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In the same way, I seem to gravitate to warmth and light in my personal objects and jewellery… a little more warm metal: a touch of bronze, copper and gold just feel wonderful at this time of year.  Amber has a natural golden glow that is irresistible, particularly when blended with warm metals and some black or grey for contrast.  This leather bracelet is just the thing to have a touch of sunshine that can be carried with me through my day!

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Autumn Pinks

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Have you begun to transition your Summer bracelets for the new season?  Even if you’re the sort of terribly organized and decisive person who creates forever bracelet designs, there’s always room for a seasonal “tweak”….

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In some cases, to “winterize’ a pink bracelet design I’ve played with chocolate browns, rich cinnamon tones or greys.  They’re all great solutions, depending on what sort of pink you have to begin with.  In today’s project I’ve utilized some of the beautiful new designs from the Autumn Trollbeads collection.  They’re a subtle blend of hues, with soft buff tones, glittering copper and hints of pink, purple and blue.

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They demand similarly subtle companions, and are the perfect way to create a soft pink bracelet that transitions gracefully from late Summer to Autumn.  Try layering this type of bracelet with an all amber bracelet, or a copper bangle to give it even more of an Autumnal feel.

When creating this design, I began with Fragile Purity, as I liked the way it set the palette of soft pink, with just a touch of light mossy green.  That unabashedly pretty bead is framed by two of the new collection additions, “Soul of Sunshine” and “Nature Unity”, which right away take the edge off the “pretty pink” and make the design so much more subtle and interesting!  Note the way that the pink brings out all the hints of pink, green and blue that are hiding in these fascinating beads…

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This Rainbow Bridge just begged to be a part of this design.  It possesses the perfect blend of green, apricot, plum and even hints at blue around the edges.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Carolina Jessamine Clasp”, “Unique Glass”, “Freedom Feather”, “Desert Rose”, “Nature Unity”, “Pink Conch”, “Ornamental Flower”, “Unique Glass”, “Soul of Sunshine”, “Fragile Purity”, “Nature Unity”, “Unique Glass”, “Wisdom Weed”, “Rainbow Bridge”, “Blossom Shade”, “Soul of Sunshine”, “Royal”, “Unique Glass”, “Rosa Pearl”.

How do you transition your bracelets through the seasons?

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Honey Bees

 

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IMG_1967Honeybees! 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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