Trollbeads Challenge Day 6


Today is a “More is More” sort of a day.  More colour, more silver, more pattern, just MORE.


It all started because I adopted this “Purple Armadillo”, just as it was being retired.  I tucked it into my bead bag of little “extra”beads that haven’t found their way onto one of my semi permanent combinations.  I thought that I’d get back to it and explore its possibilities during the challenge, and now I’m having a lovely time playing it into all sorts of combinations!   Today I find it at the center of an all-armadillo bracelet.

Each year during the challenge I enjoy playing together all my armadillos to see how the new additions (and subtractions) are settling in.  A few of our Tartooful Trollies have extraordinary armadillo collections, and by comparison mine is very modest… however, I’m pleased that I finally have enough ‘dillos to make a grouping of colours that work together nicely!


For today’s bracelet I chose relatively ornate and complex silvers with a theme of faces, trolls and other (slightly horrifying) creatures… I just love seeing all those ugly little faces peeking out from between the glorious glass beads.  It’s a little bit of shock value, and it makes me smile.



Beyond simply entertaining me, the large silvers serve two very practical purposes in this composition as well… First, the larger silvers offer a visual gap, to allow the eye to pause between shots of intensive colour.  The complex patterns serve to force the eye to take in the design more slowly, and enjoy each element.  In addition the longer silvers such as “Fabled Faces” and “Beads of Fortune” take up more real estate on the bracelet chain, which allowed me to complete this design with only a few armadillos in complementary colours.  I have addition Armadillos in my little bead bag, but selectively weeded them out of this composition as I didn’t feel that their colours matched the intensity of their neighbours.





Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 20


It’s the beginning of the Canada Day long weekend, and here in Vancouver we are braced for what we are told is going to be a dramatic heat wave.  This is exciting stuff, for us on the wet & misty West Coast!

saturday-sm1To be fair we had some beautiful weather back in May, and even now it’s very warm here, but still…. we’re ready to see some of our summery, clear blue skies!  By Canada Day on Monday it’s supposed to be blisteringly hot and clear, so I’m getting into the right frame of mind with this bright and clear, tropical fruit feeling design.

saturday-sm2I wanted to make one bracelet that used almost all my super bright beads, just to make sure that I made good use of them over the course of the challenge… there’s one more that I just couldn’t quite place on here, a deep rich sapphire blue – but I am dreaming up a whole bracelet designed around it.  (stay tuned for that one!)


Surrounded by the swaths of colour of all the armadillos, the “Sakura” bead is a welcome dash of pattern…


Clockwise from clasp:  Basic Double lobster clasp (retired version), Stopper, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Unique Amber”, “Heart”, “Turquoise Armadillo”, “African Amethyst – Summer Stones Limited Edition”, “Spot”, “Unique Armadillo”, “Sakura – World Tour Japan”, “Green Armadillo” (retired), “Smiling Cylinders”, “Lavender Jade – Chinese Limited Edition”, “Orange Armadillo” (retired), “Neither Fish nor Bird, large” (retired), “Silver Trace, Blue-green” (retired), “Light Turquoise Prism”, Stopper.




Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 9


IMG_1233Phew!  It’s a relief to be back into colour!

Today I built a bracelet around a unique armadillo that has very similar colouring to the legendary “Green Lilac Armadillo” from the Tibet series…


IMG_1234I placed the peacock toned armadillo unique at the very heart of the bracelet, and then built out from there.  I’m delighted by the effect of framing it with the two “Feather” beads – one unique in shades of light blue and lilac and the other a production “Blue Green Feather”.  The “African Amethyst” and “Canadian Jade” balance each other

IMG_1237quite perfectly.  When I was picking an Amethyst I bucked common wisdom by choosing a misty grey one.  The dark, perfectly clear ones are undoubtedly better quality stone, but as you can see from this bracelet, a soft greyed grape tone works much better with the misty colours of my collection.  After the pair of stones I placed a pair of “Bubbles”.

IMG_1240One of the bubbles is a very intense, very green “Organic Bubbles”.  The other is a lovely, light coloured “Azure Bubbles”.  We see so many beautiful beads and I can’t take them all home…. but this one I simply  couldn’t resist!  It seems to work with everything.


As I grew closer to the end of the bracelet I tried to calm the colours down a little, so that the centre portion with the armadillo and the dichroic glass could really shine.