Trollbeads Inspiration: Radiant Earth

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IMG_2022After more than a month of pure sunshine we are back to the wet here on the West Coast… it’s much needed for our astonished gardens, but a bit of a shock to have to slip on a cardigan this morning.

It’s the perfect time to show you this composition, a blend of warm, natural stones, and gleaming gold.

IMG_2024The release of the Limited Edition Summer Stones series gave us lots of textured, warm and earthy natural stones to play with… we’ve had such fun trying different combinations!  These beauties are gorgeous with lilac purples, slate blues, and crisp whites.  Today, however, we played with gold.  It only takes a few gleaming touches to take this bracelet from boho to luxe.  We selected beads such as the “Third Eye Chakra”, “Silver Trace, Gold”, “Golden Cave”, and a “Golden Quartz”.

IMG_2021We chose an array of stones that display the beautiful range of colours and textures of these lovely stones.  Some are nearly all ivory, others very dark.  Some have golden undertones, others a bit more pink.  I love the shattered look of the one above – it reminds me of midcentury composite stone floors…

IMG_2025We have some lovely uniques at the moment, so we found perfect additions to this composition from that design group as well… A little clear unique with a shimmering gold “pinwheel” helps to keep the design light and airy, and a dramatic, golden “Magic

IMG_2023Carpet” nicely balances the “Golden Quartz” on the other side of the bracelet.  We found that our two in stock examples of “Golden Cave” were so different that we wanted to add both of them, so that we could display the huge range of expression in this beloved bead design.  From soft gold and lilac, to tangerine bronze they are fascinating.

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We decided to feature just one, bold silver on this composition.  The barrel shaped silvers such as “Opposites” are challenging and very rewarding to use.  I love to see them on a Fantasy necklace, stacked richly on a bracelet, or, like here, as a dramatic focal point bead.

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Well, now that the gardens are nicely watered perhaps we can get back to a little more sun?

C

Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 2

IMG_1157Day two, and I couldn’t wait to play again!

IMG_1165I carefully took apart my day 1 bracelet… I loved it, and would happily have kept wearing it, but I have a photo, and if I miss it at the end of the 30 days I can always whip it back up again!  All the beads went back onto the play tray to form my bead “palette”, or toolkit.  It is so inspiring to see them all lined up like that: endless potential!

IMG_1160This new “Green Rhyolite” was the starting point for today’s bracelet.  It has a fascinating array of colours in it, from grey, to rust, to lavender, to pistachio green.  In the miraculous way that nature’s paintbrush has, somehow this mix of colours works perfectly.  I decided to create a neutral and natural palette around this gorgeous bead to allow it to truly glow.

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One of the fun surprise combinations across which I stumbled is this russet toned “Golden Cave” with the rose gold sparkle in my “Blue Desert” and a soft apricot “Pink Prism”… delicious!

IMG_1156I had forgotten how much I like “Smoky Quartz” with the ivory tones of this creamy armadillo and the retired “Brown Dot”.  “brown desert” adds a little sparkle.

IMG_1150Day 2… we’ve only just begun!

stay tuned for day 3…

C

Trollbeads Inspiration: Sandwashed and Sunbleached

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IMG_1071It would be hard to pick just one stone from the recent release that is the most beautiful, but Green Rhyolite is proving to be a perfect fit for the sunbleached and stonewashed palettes of many of our ladies’ Summer bracelets.  It has a fascinating  range of soft sage greens, sandstone, copper and cream.

IMG_1072This chameleon stone has an array of so many colours in its complex veining, it is sure to find its way onto warm and cozy Autumnal bracelets at the end of the Summer as well.  Today we play with bird’s egg blue, sage and bleached driftwood.  We take inspiration from one of Scott Bouwens’ Pebble Beach designs, “Sandstone”.

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We began this design with a rich green toned “Labradorite”, framed by “Traces” and the “Ice Blue Diamond”.  These can be tricky blues to balance, but this composition’s neutral tones are very forgiving, and allow these two showstopping beads to take the limelight.

IMG_1077The perfect, flat lighting of my photography studio box doesn’t bring out the flash in this Labradorite the way that natural light does, so I thought I’d better try to capture it in a beam of sunlight to show it off to you… We always encourage our Tartoofulers to take the Labs outside to check for flash, as it is so elusive in artificial light.

IMG_1075This “Conch” is unusual, as it has a very thick top layer of soft grey, clear glass.  From the side it is dramatic!  (See below) We selected a pair of silvers that mimic the overall oval and rounded shape of the glass – an effect that I personally enjoy.  Here the limited edition Chinese Zodiac “Ram” is tucked between “Conch” and the “Ice Blue Diamond” bead.

IMG_1074“Paradise Birds” is another oval silver that is luxuriously heavy and textured in its design.  I like to balance this particular bead with Jugend or the now-retired “Carved Flowers”, and it’s also lovely with other “budded” silvers such as “Winter Berries”, ‘Urchin”, “Large Berry” or either of the “Planets”.  Isn’t it fun to be able to take a really close look at the ribbon of ivory that encircles “Traces”?  It’s so reminiscent of “Cozy”.

IMG_1070(There’s that “Conch” on the left – isn’t it amazing?!)

Overall, this is a composition that I would love to be able to wear this Summer, and it’s inspired me to freshen up my own soft blue bracelet… I think that one of the yummy new Green Rhyolites will have to find it’s way into my collection!

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Seahorse Lock”, “Silver Mountain”, “Green Rhyolite”, “Sandstone”, “Urchin”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Universal Unique”, “White Paper Fold”, “Paradise Birds”, “traces”, “Labradorite”, “Diamond Bead, Ice Blue”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Ram”, “Conch”, “Green Rhyolite”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Large Planet”, “Green Rhyolite”, “Light Blue Shadow”, “Grey Prism”.

C.