Trollbeads Inspiration: The Calm Between Storms…

IMG_0853

IMG_0855Well, here we are in the very busiest time of year… the gallery is hopping with holiday shoppers, the streets are bustling, and the sound of live music can be heard drifting through the Village.  Most of us are dashing from one errand to another, busily preparing our homes for the upcoming gatherings, and attending various holiday celebrations that are already underway.  It can all be a little overwhelming… but it’s part of the rhythm of the seasons and what fun to have a such a joyful time as this in the very darkest time of year.

IMG_0854

The key to maintaining sanity seems to be to take little breaks, and enjoy those moments of calm between the storms…

IMG_0858

…So enjoy dressing up, designing and wearing your most extravagant bracelets ever – but today, on this quiet Sunday before Christmas, take a moment with a cup of tea and savour this calming bracelet…How fitting that it features a number of beads from the “Balance of Nature” kit.

IMG_0856This Autumn 2015 series has intrigued, delighted and, at times baffled us at Tartooful.  On the one hand the designs are absolutely gorgeous – exactly the sort of subtle, natural tones with which we love to play.  On the other hand, we are, at times, hard pressed to determine which bead is which – many of the designs can mimic each other in their extreme forms!  Rainbow of luck, Power of Hope and Shades of peace are close relations.  No matter – we love them, whatever their names are…. (“A bead by any other name would look as sweet…”)

IMG_0860 (1)Today I teased together a soft and pretty plum, grey and celadon composition that is designed to be that moment of calm… While it could be seen as hinting at the Spring to come, the subtly earthy tone of the plum, makes me think that this could be an all season bracelet.  I’ve included “Pink Conch” in the crew, as it is surely a cousin to the “Balance” family.  Recently the “Pink Conch” examples that we have been receiving have a lovely olive tone to the stripes that open up new possibilities for that already lovely design.

IMG_0861

IMG_0857I’ve included generous helpings of sparkle in this bracelet – nearly half of the beads in the design are ones that dance with gold.  For me, a large part of the appeal of this bracelet is the way these subtle colours play with each other.  On the other hand, I think that without the contrast of the deeply patterned silvers, the distinctive texture of the natural stones, and the brilliant light of the “Dichroic Ice”… it might be too homogenous and fall a little flat.  I’ve found that before when trying to design with all deserts or all azures – they are lovely but they benefit from the addition of contrast.

IMG_0851 (1)

Clockwise from clasp:  “Lace Lock”, “Purple Prism”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Mothers Bouquet”, “Shades of Peace”, “Unique Glass”, “Pink Conch”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Power of Hope”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Rainbow of Luck”, “Tropical Travels”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Ruby Rock”, “Purity”, “Eidelweiss (Switzerland World Tour)”, “White Petals”, “Grey Prism”.

Savour the calm – and then dive into the glorious chaos!

C.

30 Day Challenge: Day 18

IMG_9666

IMG_9662Today’s bracelet was inspired by my dear friend Gillian, and her exquisite taste. On a recent visit she spotted my collection, lying strewn about on a tray, and sat down to have a play.  In no time at all she had teased together a design that contained every one of my sparkle beads!  I never think to use just one design category of my beads in this way, and immediately thought that I must give it a try….

IMG_9659

IMG_9660The designs with metallic sparkle are among my favorites in the collection… I think I first picked out a “Blue Desert” for myself… but Brown and Pink followed soon after… and of course since Spring of 2014 there are so many gorgeous, sparkling designs from which to choose.  In addition, there are the various designs that include gold or silver leaf – silver mountain and Golden Cave are fixtures on most of my bracelet designs.

IMG_9661When creating today’s design I started by centering a focal bead by Trollbeads designer, Scot Bouwens.  This big, beautiful bead is one that I most often use on a Fantasy Necklace, but this bracelet concept is custom made for it!   I framed it with a pair of “Blue Deserts” that display the phenomenal range of expression that is be found in this design.

IMG_9664Sparkle Beads love to Bathe in the Sun.

IMG_9657

Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Lock” (retired Format), “Unique Glass”, “Plait” (retired), “Pink Desert”, “Bead of Fortune”, “Blue Desert”, “Tupilak” (retired), “Golden Cave”, “Spot” (retired), “Blue Desert”, “Artisan Bead by Scot Bouwens”, “Blue Desert”, “Shortcut” (retired), “Brown Desert” (retired), “Frogs” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Neither Fish Nor Bird” (retired), “Blue Desert”, “Art Deco” (retired), “Golden Cave”.

Thanks for the inspiration, Gil!

C.