Trollbeads Inspiration: Navy is the New Navy

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new-navy3Does Navy ever really go out of style?  There cannot be any other colour that is perennially trotted out as being the fresh, new “it” colour soloution the way navy always seems to be.  You’ll find it paired with classic black right now…

new-navy-waveIn crisp nautical stripes of navy and white, or bone for Summer… and look for it with complementary tones of vicuna, chestnut or 80’s redux mustard for Autumn.  When the holidays hit, the most sophisticated sheaths this year were just one note

new-navy1off-black towards navy.  It’s really nothing new, it was a standard in my Mother’s classic wardrobe, and in my chic Grandmother’s before that.  It ought to be such a “buttoned down” colour – think navy business suits, militaria and school uniforms… isn’t it amazing that it somehow avoids being pidgeonholed as such and feels fresh each season?

new-navyStill Fresh.

C.

 

Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 25

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Today’s design is a pair of bracelets that I designed to wear together… they’re inspired by the jewellery of the West Coast Surf culture, and are meant to wear on a casual Summer day, hopefully idling the warm hours away at the beach.

IMG_1625The first bracelet that I created was the black suede bracelet at left.  I added only a few little silver beads, and then twisted the two strands to ply the bracelet into a double, twisted rope.  I learned how to ply yarn while helping my Mother when she used to spin her own wool.  I used a vastly simplified version of the same technique here.

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To replicate the thick effect, hold the two metal capped ends of the bracelet in one hand, and the end with the clasp in the other.  Simply twist the two ends of the bracelet in opposite directions until they are super tight.  Then, fold the taut strands carefully and exactly in half, and they will wrap around themselves into a thick rope.  (It sounds more complicated than it is…)  I used my standard double lobster clasp to hold it all together, but it would be much prettier, and easier, using one of the decorative locks.  I put the silver capped ends as well as the end with the tiny holes into one half of the lock, and then put one of the leather strands through the other half of the lock.

IMG_1627I am quite delighted with this technique for making a thick, sturdy and comfortable bracelet from the leather.  I do find that unless they fit just right they flop around a bit.  This is a great method for making a floppy bracelet behave itself again.

photoI felt like adding another fine chain to my stack of bracelets, so I quickly put together a twist on the solo pearl design.  I strung a tiny sterling ring on to keep my pearl company.  I wore this ring when I was a child, and now often enjoy it as a slender accent between glass or amber Trollbeads.  Here it seems to orbit the pearl, and jingles gently.

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I’m really so pleased with my new leather idea – I can’t wait to try it out with a decorative clasp and various bead ideas!

C

Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 22

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We have a few amazing Trollies playing along with us in our design challenge, and I’m finding so much inspiration in their daily creations… today’s bracelet was born because after looking at one of Melinda’s recent bracelets I realized how much I like Trollbeads’ foxtail chain pattern.

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I’ve long admired the functionality of the chain – smooth, pliable, fluid, heavy and strong… it’s meant to last and never feels uncomfortable in any way.  The simple clasp method is genius, and the various clasp designs allow for personal expression, which makes it fun before we add a single bead.

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Having said all this, I hardly ever really showcase the chain in my designs, because I end up covering it up with beads I love!  I remembered that last year in Las Vegas we noticed Soren Neilsen was wearing a simple silver chain with a single white pearl on it, fitted snug against his wrist.  It was pure and powerful, and very inspiring.   It was tempting to recreate that exact bracelet, but I thought perhaps I should make it my own…

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This is the simple result of my experimentation… I twisted three of my chains together, wove a couple of pearls amongst the strands, and clasped them with one clasp to hold them in their pattern.

C.

Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 17

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I really thought that by now I’d be having trouble coming up with something new every day, but so far so good!  Inspiration is still going strong, and I’m still excited to make something new every day!

IMG_1530Today I felt like playing with pink, but wanted something calm and a little cosy as we are still in the midst of this soggy June weather.  Basically this bracelet is meant to feel like a fisherman’s knit sweater with a pink silk scarf…

I took care only to include warm, apricot pinks as I didn’t want to repeat myself by drifting into a lavender and brown composition.  I always find the coppery, rose gold dust in “Brown Desert” and “Blue Desert” plays so nicely with honeyed pinks.  I also tried to branch out a little in my choice of silvers, as I’ve been using lots of sphere shapes.

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Notice the two pearls that I’ve used to finish this design… one is a Limited Edition Peacock Pearl, with a warm hue.  The other is an exceptional Rosa Pearl that I’m so grateful to have received as a special birthday gift from a friend.  (She planned way ahead of time and bought it months ahead when she spotted it at one of our Trunk Shows… what a sweetie!)

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The sun is bound to be back soon…

 

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Cozy up to Gold

There is nothing quite like the warm glow of gold… revered and crafted into items of extraordinary beauty in Denmark from the time of prehistory, gold is classic luxe.  We recently received a Trollbeads Fantasy necklace in 18k gold, which simply takes our breath away.

It’s easy to speak of gold as being an investment, but when in the presence of this gorgeous necklace it’s hard to imagine ever parting with it.  Perhaps it’s better to think of it as an investment in oneself, as there’s no question one feels different when wearing it.

it’s smooth, and surprisingly heavy in one’s hand… the gold quickly takes the warmth of one’s skin and feels dangerously comfortable… The perfect pearl is tipped with a beautifully wrought cap that is reminiscent of a flower bud.

…Now what to add?  There are so many palettes that would sing with this strand of gold.  We began with the ruby and took inspiration from its luscious berry tone.  “Cozy”, The luminous “Third Eye”, warm “Grey Prism”, intricate “Autumn Splendour” and “Fireflies” complete the composition.

I’d want to use my beads carefully and sparingly on this necklace… after all, who would want to cover up all that gorgeous gold?  Rather than filling it, it would be far better to play often with new combinations, and try lots of different compositions.

Let’s play with a few other palettes over the coming days to see how some of our favorite beads look in combination with the luxury of a little gold… what would you do with this necklace?

C

Trollbeads Fantasy Necklace

Trollbeads’ Fantasy Necklace with Pearl

Lately a number of our Trollbeads collectors have noticed the Fantasy Necklaces on display at Tartooful.  I know many ladies have added these pieces to their wishlist for this Holiday season… so it’s time for a little tutorial on how to make use of this unique item of jewellery.

The necklace is a simple, fine, silver chain that comes in varying lengths.  There is no clasp, and each one comes with a pendant attached at the bottom.  Pictured above you’ll see the Fantasy Necklace with pearl, a classic piece that works well for day or evening wear.

The simplest way to use the necklace is to simply slide a bead over the two halves of the chain, down to the pendant where it rests and becomes a focal point.  Several beads may be “stacked” on the pendant in this way, creating a chatelaine effect.  Depending on the beads selected, this can be a very casual look, or quite formal.

In the case of the longer lengths of chain, there is another method of arranging the necklace that creates an entirely different effect.  One makes use of one of Trollbeads’ beads with three holes, such as “Climbing Hydrangea”, “Strawberries”, “Zucchini Flower”, “Troll Tree” and so on.  This bead is used to double and divide the chain, thus shortening it and creating additional visual interest.  it’s a very difficult technique to explain in writing, but very simple in practice, so I’ll show you a video tutorial by Trollbeads that shows how easy it is:

I must mention before I sign off how much I love the combination of beads on the necklace above… “Azure Bubbles” has of course become a favorite bead for many  – but I particularly love it paired with this Limited Edition “Haiti Bead”.

C.