Trollbeads Challenge: Day 3

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IMG_1716Today I decided to see if I could build a bracelet of all-labradorite.  Like so many other ladies, this stone is a favorite of mine.  Its endless shades of soft grey to green to blue add a gentle note to so many compositions.  It’s elusive flash of blue, aqua, green, gold, pink or even purple rewards those who are patient enough to sit and really *look* at it in the light.  Over the past year a few more Labradorites have found their way into my collection, but they are normally scattered across a number of bracelets where they can work their quiet magic.  However, today they were all lined up together on my play

IMG_1717tray, just begging to be strung together all on one bracelet.  Initially I played them together with larger, more complex silvers that took up more space on the chain, so that I could feature just the stones.  I thought I would love it that way, but when I actually saw it… it felt a little flat to me.  I wanted to add a little something… just a little pop of pattern – but not too much.  I could have used soft Azure Bubbles, but decided instead to use the slightly more challenging Kimono Kit of beads.  These are understated glass, with matte finish and clean, minimalist patterns.

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Their subtle palette works beautifully with Labradorite, and I’m pleased with the end result.

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IMG_1718The large, complex silvers were replaced with a series of “bead shaped” silvers that usually reside on my teal bracelet.  Their similar size and shape offer a nice rhythm, and are economical in the amount of space they take up, so that more glass and stone may be fitted onto my usual size of chain without crowding the bracelet.  I like the beads a little on the loose side, so that the bracelet flows nicely and doesn’t feel too stiff.  You can see I was feeling a little squeezed for space, as I resort to narrower and narrower silvers as the composition goes on!

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My conclusion is… that this is something I would totally wear again!  (NEED more labs…)

C.

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: A Breath of Summer…

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IMG_6115Recently here on the West Coast we’ve been treated to the first breath of real Summer… with warm days, and balmy, breezy nights that are just right for resting.  The clear blue sky promises sunny days forever…but of course we know from long experience that we will still see a good dousing of rain before Summer can be relied

IMG_6125upon.  Meanwhile we are all a bit giddy to see bright light after our long dark winter!  I don’t think I am the only one who rushed straight to the beach with the kids… there is nothing that says Summer quite like an afternoon spent poking about at the edge of the water.

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IMG_6121I loved watching as the kids crouched over with rapt concentration on their faces… as they tipped up stones on the rocky beach, checking for the scuttling baby crabs beneath.  They’d cry out in delight as a little orange herd of them would emerge.

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IMG_6116Often they’d jog over to me, to show off one that was unusually pale, or perhaps had a sprinkling of charming freckles.  Meanwhile I happily comb through the pebbles at the water’s edge, marveling at the beauty of each wet stone.  Truly, is there anything more beautiful than perfectly turned beach stones?

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IMG_6128Of course, this all sounds so peaceful… but perhaps I should mention the border collie who keeps it all just a little zany?  She wonders what I am looking for among the rocks and helpfully digs a big hole for me… and then gallops over to check on the children, thinking perhaps she can help out there instead!  Border collies love to help.

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Ah… Summer… welcome back!

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C.

 

Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 4

IMG_1176Day 4

IMG_1171As day four rolls around I am feeling a little fuzzy, after a whirlwind of a day yesterday.  I am in the mood for something comfortable and familiar, with a touch of decisive clarity.

The result is familiar teals and greens, with a hint of crisp white and black to give it some snap.  I began as I begin so many of my favorite bracelets, by reaching for my beloved “Silver Mountain”.  It was my very first bead, and it is still my favorite.

IMG_1172I didn’t want to stay in the light blue tones, so I added rich teals such as this retired “Blue Green Feather”, one of the “Christmas in Australia” series, a green lilac armadillo lookalike unique, and a very green “Organic Bubbles”.  My new “Canadian Jade” grounds it nicely with a deep rich green which is echoed in the lustre of my limited edition “Peacock Pearl”.  So far most of these combinations were well within my usual comfort zone, and might have appeared on any number of bracelets over the years.

IMG_1174However, with the addition of the “Black Spot” and “White Steel” it took on a fresh appearance.  This reminds me a little bit of a Summer fantasy necklace that I made up for myself last year, one day at the beach.  It was inspired by a beautifully worn, crisp blue and white quilt, and featured my tricky-to-use World Tour “Sakura” bead.

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Perhaps it’s the memory of that quilt that makes this feel comfortable yet crisp?

IMG_1167This feels just right for today…

C.

Trollbeads: Lavender Labradorite

We are always thrilled to unpack a new shipment of Trollbeads, as there are always wonderful surprises among the beads… This time just look at what we found!

It’s a Labradorite with a glorious, purple flash…

We’ve seen a rich variety of Labradorites over the years… lots of deep grey stones with bright blue flashes… light stones with emerald green flashes… a couple of juicy pink flashes, and one memorable gold flash.  My own labradorite has two different colours of flash: blue on one side and silver on the other.

However… we’ve never seen a purple before.

So beautiful, it sends shivers down my back.

C,