Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 13

 

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IMG_5674Today I decided I wanted to attempt a more gender neutral bracelet design, using the black leather and a combination of coloured beads.  Generally, when designing a piece for a man I reach for simple, graphically bold silvers such

IMG_5671as “Smiling Cylinder”, “Frames”, or “Water”.  Alternatively, there are some wonderful silvers that evoke the magical side of Troll, such as “Thor’s Hammer” or “The Midgard Serpent”.  However, only rarely do I add a glass or stone bead to a man’s

IMG_5669design.  I was asked recently by a male trollfan how I would attempt this, while still keeping it satisfyingly masculine.  I’ve mulled the question for a few days and in the end created this bracelet.  I like the idea of

IMG_5672keeping the beads all within one colour family, and keeping them in a natural tone.  If I had Tartooful’s stock to play with, I probably would created something with more deep colour in the amber, and less of the bright golden tones… however, please forgive this with the fact that it is a ladies’ collection shown here, after all!

IMG_5667I left a faceted smoky quartz tassel on my “Plain Lock” as a little, feminine gesture – but this would be a simple edit for a more masculine owner.  I also took this opportunity to play with one of my X links on the leather, which in my opinion worked out beautifully!  This opens up a whole other world of truly great silvers for a man, such as the “Lovers knot”, “DNA”, and “Order in Chaos”.  The leather is perfect for the double links, holding them securely in an appropriate position and displaying them nicely against the dark cord.

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“X By Trollbeads Harlequin”, Unique Ambers, “Golden Quartz”, “Tigers Eye” and a Unique Glass.

C.

 

Trollbeads inspiration: Leather

This has been the Summer of Leather… with more of our ladies falling for these unusual accessories than ever before.  It may not be the first thing in the Trollbeads line to seduce you, but after being a collector for a little time the appeal is irresistible.

It only takes a few well-chosen beads to create a complete composition, and one can play not only with the order of the beads, but also with the spacing.  For intense glass such as the Chakra beads, the eye needs a rest between the colours, so the negative spaces offered by the leather are ideal.

With a range of leather colours available, the palette possibilities are endless.  Dark brown, natural tan, rich red, basic black, and a fascinating soft, grey-blue round out the collection.  Of course, we find the grey-blue particularly beautiful, coming from the land of clouds as we do.  However, they all have their merits: the black is edgy and raw, the dark brown feels earthy and casual, the tan blends beautifully with other silver bracelets, and the red adds dramatic punch.

The best part, in my opinion, about the leather is that it is so flexible in its application.  I’ve worn mine most of this Summer as a necklace, layered with my 14″ Pyrrha necklace and my 36″ Fantasy Necklace with Pearl.  It looks a little bit west-coast boho and felt just right in our laid back village.  However, last year I wore it more as a bracelet, along with a couple of gold bangles and sometimes even a silver Trollbeads bracelet too.  If I added a silver Troll bracelet it most often held only one, special bead on which I wanted to focus.  On a few occasions I’ve attached a silver bracelet to the leather to lengthen it and add another design dimension, or one could attach a silver to it and wrap it around your wrist to add another detail to a bracelet.  There really are so many ways to be creative using the leather and silver in concert. We’ve got a few tips on how to make the leathers work well.  To begin, pick your size based on how you think you’re going to wear it the most.

Lise Aagaard wears her leather at the Las Vegas Convention

If it’s more likely to be a necklace, then select a size that is a little longer.  For a bracelet, it functions best if it fits snugly on the wrist.  To get the best fit it may be necessary to trim some of the leather off.  It’s designed to allow you to do so; there are a number of holes into which you can attach the clasp.  Wear it a little bit before trimming, to be sure you have the best fit.  Finally, pick your clasp with care, as some work better than others.  The recommended clasp is the “Lace Lock”, but we have found that individual examples of the “Small Flower Lock”, “Freja Lock” and “Plain Lock” also function beautifully, it’s just a matter of testing each one to be sure.

Once you have found the perfect fit & clasp, then it’s just a matter of picking a few beads to add to your new toy… perhaps it’s an inspired way to make use of a few beloved beads that don’t fit into your other current compositions?  Or maybe you’ll treat yourself with a couple of new beads?  Maybe even some of the upcoming Autumn 2012 collection?  (We simply can’t wait…!)  It’s not too difficult of a decision, after all it’s so easy to change!

See you in the village…

C

Trollbeads Inspiration: Leather Bracelet for Summer

This beautiful composition on a leather bracelet is soft, subtle and so easy to wear for summer.  It’s the kind of colours that work for everyday here on the West coast, but has an understated glamour that makes it satisfying and far from boring.

We started with a soft blue leather bracelet by Troll.  These pieces have two leather strands that are joined to make a double bracelet.  They are intended to be worn with only a few beads, spread loosely around the piece for a more casual feel.  The bracelet may be worn tight to the wrist, but most people prefer the a little looser, both for comfort and for aesthetics.  These bracelets are a wonderful way to display a choice few beads…perhaps a colour composition for which you only have a few beads, or simply a few favorites on which you’d like to focus… I chose a leather bracelet in the longest length possible, as I like to wear my bracelet on the loose side, and that way I have the flexibility of also being able to wear the leather strand as a necklace!

But enough about the leather, and on to the beads themselves…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Silver Lace Lock”, “Harmony”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “Ruby with Gold Core”, “Brown Desert”, “Deep Bubbles”, “Golden Cave”.

It’s only a few beads, but together they have real impact.  The soft raspberry of the ruby is echoed in the depths of the “Golden Cave” and “deep Bubbles”.  The bronze of the “Golden Cave” and the coppery shimmer of the “Brown Desert feel warm and offer a perfect colour complement.

Of course, the true star in this group is the “Ruby with Gold Core”… this unusual bead is truly extraordinary.  It’s colour is unlike anything else in the Trollbeads collection, and is instantly recognizable as something very special.  The rspberry colour is rich and deep, with tiny flecks of sparkle in its depths.  Like most of the precious stone beads, it is faceted, and catches the light to give life to its colour, showing flashes that seem pale pink to burgundy. If you haven’t had a chance to see this bead in person, do stop by the shop while we still have one in stock and see it for yourself.

(The other bead shown above is the diamond bead with gold core – a glamazon of a bead – it’s also in stock and I’ll chat more about it tomorrow!)

C.