Monday, 30 July 2012

The Secret is Out!

So Trollbeads have announced the new collection available on Friday will be the peoples bead 2012 winners with a spirituality collection.
The competition was a little different this year with a theme being set and a whole group of winners being announced.
And what a collection it is. An amazing new necklace (in different lengths) 2 glass beads and 9 silver beads. One of which was designed by a UK entrant!
Like the other peoples beads - Pax, Ice Bear and Rolling Waves, these beads are not limited edition. Available from Friday (although we have had some preorders) they are all a really good price point so shouldn't break the bank!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Inspired by True Events

So Thursday was crazy busy at work. So busy I had to work an extra four and a half hours! (that's why this post is a day late, sorry)
I decided not to wear any beads yesterday (shocking I know) but I usually wear them everyday and I'm starting to find that I keep making bracelets to wear that look very similar. To try and get the creativity flowing again I decided to use our stock to make some new combinations inspired by my colleagues. So I'm proud to present...
*Imaginary drum roll*
The Sara, The Paula, The Adam and The Sue!

So let's start at the start as that's a very good place to start.

Sara got married yesterday to the lovely Scott (congrats again!) And for a while we have been joking that her wedding was sponsored by Beaverbrooks - her engagement and both their wedding bands, Sara's gift to Scott and all the bridesmaids were from our store. Sara has only been collecting Trollbeads since January and so we have been talking about the kind of look she wants from her bracelet. (which is now full thanks to our visit for Fable Trading)

Taking inspiration from that, purple - the colour of her wedding and crisp whites to reflect the sun and brighten the colour pallet here is the bracelet I have made:

Pearls are traditional for a wedding so triple pearl had to be used! The faceted rose quartz sparkles to add a bit if glamour whilst working the pink colours into the mix, it works really well with the lavender stripe which adds subtle colour (Sorry they look blue in the picture, you'll just have to come to the store to see them!). Whirling adventure is a stunning bead with all its different colours and textures. I also used Welsh Lovespoons (the wedding was in Wales) and Heart Ball as the silver beads. I hope Sara likes it!

Paula was visiting our Head Office for a selection day for some training, so I thought I could make a bracelet for luck, using a Black Leather Bracelet for a different look. Amazonite, Green Flower Mosaic and Mixed Green Armadillo to represent the lucky green of a Shamrock.
Lucky Knot and Lucky Dragon, again for luck and a Troll Fairy to carry it on her wings to Blackpool. Even the Knot Lock represented crossed fingers! It must of worked, because Paula is at stage two of selection!

Next up the Adam, this time its a necklace. Of course, Adam wouldn't wear it, but it's inspired by his obsession with Blue!
I started off with the deep blues of Silver Trace, Blue and Milky Way (chosen by Adam!) Matched that up with 2 Beach Beads and a Palm Island. We often leave our display necklaces there, but we wanted to add a splash more colour so added the bright green Earth and Peter. Three is the magic number so added an Ocean and Treasures (playing on the Beachy theme!) and Light Green Flower and Forest Anemones. I wanted these to not be right next to the blues so moved them up the chain using Two Stoppers.

I love Blue Stripe so had to add Two of those, and then decided to add Turquoise Armadillo and Turquoise Bubbles to Bridge the gap between the blue and green. Adam suggested that we use two more stoppers on those. Here's the end result:

Finally the Sue, this one came about because She helped create the Sara! It's inspired by her collection of Striped beads. But instead of being on a Bracelet they are on a Fantasy Necklace.

We used Green Stripe, Coral Stripe and my fave Organic Stripe. The Trollbead Coin acts a brilliant table just above the Necklace's Pearl and adds a lovely dimension and the Lotus Flower finishes off the Necklace with a beautiful Point.
I hope you like the designs I created, Feel free to leave a few comments, would love to hear what you thought!

Sorry it's such a long post. I promise the next will be shorter!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

New collection, and my World Tour Challenge!

So I've just pre-ordered the World Tour Beads I've had my eye one. Literally 2 days ago, and then I hear the secret whisper of a new collection. Typical!

Since the world tour collection was released in Denmark I have wanted a World Tour Bracelet with at least one bead from every country.

So I already have 2 thanks to our Visit to Fable.

Star Spangled Bead - Because I'm Obsessed with Stars
Stars shine bright through fireworks of red, white and blue, the inspiration for Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a poem written in 1814 that now stands as America’s national anthem.

Garden Gnome - He is cute and reminds me of going to the Isle of Wight on family holidays and seeing the garden near the Needles with all the gnomes in it

25 million in Germany alone, these popular but controversial little creatures often find themselves in the centre of a heated debate on good or bad taste! In an act of support The Garden Gnome Liberationists are known to kidnap them and send them on trips around the world!

The ones I have Just ordered:

From Denmark, The Viking Ship - I have always loved the way this bead sits out the sides of the bracelet and reminds me of the theme park rides!

A great design that our ancestors adventurously travelled the world with. Let it quietly roll about on your arm.

From Italy, The Spaghetti because I adore Spaghetti, and it again reminds me of childhood.

Spaghetti is an icon of Italian cuisine and a symbol of the Italian spirit.  An essential ingredient for your bracelet.

From Holland, The windmill, again to signify the windmill I went to as a child were I ground the corn to make wheat and then made Roti with it!

A mill is a simple and valuable tool used in a variety of industries. It can be used to manufacture flour, oil and paint, to saw wood or pump water. A mill can be operated by wind, water, electricity, or by animal or human power. Mills have a great historical-cultural value in the Dutch landscape, they bring nature, industry, and architecture together.

From Africa, Drum Beat. I wanted African Pride but Nic got there before me! I do Love the patterning to the Drum Beat and the idea behind using it for special celebrations.

In Africa, drums served as an early form of long-distance communication, and today are used on ceremonial and religious occasions.

From the Baltic States, Mushroom Family. This is because of Mario. Nuff said!
A cosy mushroom family tightly snuggled together. They remind us of how precious family is and how important it is to have someone in life to lean on.

From Switzerland, Mountain Crystal. Love how the light shines through this bead and it goes well with UK Colours Bead and Star Spangled Bead.

 This sparkling mountain crystal reminds us of Swiss glaciers where the ice never melts. The “mountain crystal” is known for its universal healing powers.

From Austria. Wiener Melange. Because it is a tea cup (my Tipple) and huge (I can only drink tea out of a Mug. My mug at home holds 5 cups!)
Taste Vienna! Have a traditional Wiener Melange - the local variety of coffee – in one of Vienna’s many legendary coffee houses.

From Japan. The Sacred House, which reminds me of the Disney film Mulan which I love (Disney Freak here (next collection please Trollbeads!))
An old fashioned wooden cottage in Japan. Here people come to pray for their wishes to come true, pray for finding a good match, or pray for fortune and a good life.

From China, Chinese Auspicious Everyone needs Luck!

"Yu" "Yi" "Guck" "Cher". The first two Chinese words mean your wish and the last two are lucky and peace. If you want to express the best blessing during Chinese New Year to someone, just say "Yu" "Yi" "Guck" "Cher".

The Australian Collection was the hardest to choose from because it's the only country in the tour I have visited and I have family who live there. I wanted the Barrier Reef to remind me of going to the Gold Coast with my Uncle Brian and Grandma. Kangaroo and Joey to remind me of going up a hill in Canberra with my Cousins and getting really close to the real life Kanga's! I decided to go with Sydney Harbour as I can still remember how in awe I was of the opera house and the scale (and bravery of those climbing) the Harbour Bridge!

Sydney Harbour with its magnificent opera house and iconic bridge. Vibrant and spectacular, Sydney Harbour is the most beautiful harbour in the world, the heartbeat of Australia’s biggest city.

I have yet to buy my UK beads (UK Colours and English Tea Party) as I'm now bankrupt from all those purchases!

Sorry again for the long post but it is just too exciting!

Bristol Harbour Fest

Sorry for the lack of posting over the last week or so it's been a bit crazy (The sun coming out and family visiting!)

Just thought I would show you my latest collaboration inspired by the Bristol Harbour Festival, an amazingly busy time in Bristol's Harbour.

I Thought I would go with Turquoise Agate to represent the sea.
2 of my new Universals to represent the deep blue of the ocean and the green of the seaweed.
Moon Ocean - Moon controlling the tide. And ocean for, well, ocean.
Rolling Waves. A sneaky Beaverbrooks Turtle makes it in. Ugly Ducking make up the sea theme!

I had to add my newest baby Space. A treat being customer champion at Beaverbrooks!
So there is my lovely bead and the beautiful sunshine really showed it off!


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Look at these beauties!

So, as promised I have asked a customer if I could take some pictures of her amazing collection and she agreed. She has 3 bracelets (The pictures of her springtime pink and green bracelet are blurry, sorry) and loves her limited edition beads.

This is her Red, White and Blue bracelet with the Pushchair from the 30th anniversary of Trollbeads Bracelet, the RAF Benevolent Fund Bead and the Blooming Sakura, Star Spangled Bead and Welsh Loovespoon from the world tour. She also has the really limited tulip (I really want one of those!)

She also told me about her newest acquisition the Strawberries Splitter Bead that she had bought from Beaverbrooks in the sale with a massive £80 off!

This is her 'Furry Bracelet' with some really lovely animal tones. A good balance of the dark browns and the creamy whites (Note the limited edition Christmas bead, a couple along from the Black Spinel Tassel) I particularly love the Tigers Eye towards the end (another hint!). And the Bead at the end that looks like the Summer bead, has some amazing colours on it, is amazing, so good that I took a close up of it below! (Anyone know what it is?)

Hope you enjoyed her collection as much as we loved chatting about it. Let me know your thoughts and let me know what the mystery bead is!

Few Pictures from the 'Trollbeads Crawl'

Some lovely regular Trollbead customers have an annual 'Trollbeads Crawl' - they visit about 7 different retailers look at all the unusual beads and show off their lovely collections.

I have just found a couple of pictures of the event and I just had to share them with the world, hope you like!
The Lovely Ladies' collections (and that's not even all of them!)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

How I Met Trollbeads [Take 2]

Funny thing, time. I created my ‘How I met Trollbeads’ post last August but it seems like yesterday. When I started this blog I thought I could just use that as my first blog entry but when I read through it again I realised how out of date it was. So here is.

How I Met Trollbeads. [Take 2]

So I’ve been collecting Trollbeads for almost 2 years now. Time has really flown! My collection now holds 48 Glass beads, 12 Amber beads, 17 Silver beads with my same 2 Leather bracelets (Black and Blue – they have both worn to look almost the same) and a silver bracelet. It’s a collection I’m really proud of.
I gave up on attempting to wear all my beads at once quite a while ago, since before my last blog, which is why I only have the three bracelets. I would like a different colour leather bracelet – maybe red or green but at the minute the beads are luring me in too much! It also suits me to not have so many bracelets as I get bored way to easily so end up swapping my beads around all the time anyway. Nic hates it as it usually happens when we are supposed to be leaving the house to go out somewhere!

I am trying to cut down on the beads I buy and only get the limited edition ones but there are just so many lovely beads to own. Maybe a second job is needed! :) The newest beads to my collection are of course the ones I won at Fable, but before that it was the bargain that was the Turquoise Striped Agate Kit as they were 40% off! They vary massively mine are bright with brown stripes, one has a bit of something sparkly in it and another is part translucent.

And Nic bought me Fireflies and Flower Clouds to match the shirt to his brother’s wedding and I have bought Owl because I love all the detailing to it, it is lovely to look at all the feathers and is comforting to rub his little belly! I have also bought the Magician because it is retired and I love that he is coming out his hat with the rabbit under his arm.

I’m really lucky to now own Milky Way and Treasures, but have yet to own Angel Feathers. Trollbeads retired a whole host of beads that I need to buy up quick so I don’t miss out – they have already sold out of Jellyfish :( and they keep having new collections too!

Speaking of new collections I am so excited that the WorldTour Collection is available in the UK for a short while – since they launched those 18 months ago I have said I would love a world tour bracelet with at least one bead per country. The only problem with this plan (apart from cost) is that most of the beads I would like are silver so the bracelet would be really unbalanced. I think I need to rethink my wish list! I’d like to hear any ideas you have!

I still really enjoy working for Beaverbrooks, and helping people start their collections off, but the best thing is seeing what amazing journeys people take with their bracelets and the ideas they have and the ways they put together beads I would never think of. Having customers come in again and again filling us in on their exciting news and showing off their new acquisitions is brilliant. And a great way to steal all their ideas!

Whilst at Fable we heard that there is a couple of exciting announcements over the next couple of months, I hope they wait long enough so that I can save up a few pennies as I know I will like way too many beads from the new collection!

So that’s you all up-to-date with my collection. Although I’m sure it will grow again soon (I will try to order my World Tour Beads as soon as I can, a few have sold out already! Luckily Fable will hopefully be ordering a few more if Denmark have any!) I'm also considering buying a leather necklace to wear with only a couple of beads on, but I'm not sure if it would suit me or not.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!x

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Trollbeads HQ Visit

Yesterday 11 lucky Beaverbrooks Employees got a chance to visit Fable Trading HQ (UK distributors of Trollbeads, they also distribute Buddha to Buddha in the UK.)

I was one of the chosen few and it was an absolutely brilliant day!

Fable moved into their new offices about a month ago and it still has that lovely new smell! Trollbeads have been growing in popularity in the UK since they launched and so they needed a bigger space to fill with lovely beads!

First we got to meet a few of the team Ruth Boxall had been busy organising everything for the trip, Richard Morfoot the owner of Fable Trading was there to welcome us too! Along with Amanda and Amanda - Our Visual Merchandiser and Fable's Marketing Manager. Michelle and Jon were looking after us too.

After our tour Amanda gave us a history to how Trollbeads came to the UK. (Please note my version is abridged)

Sarah Moorfoot was a stay at home mum and as a family they used to have foreign exchange students staying with them. Once a Danish student was telling a story to the children using something on her wrist to tell the story. Suddenly they were scrambling around on the floor and the student was getting really upset about her 'Thumbilina'. Sarah went over to help and that's when she started to take notice of the Trollbeads the student was wearing. Sarah wanted to own her very own bracelet but found they couldn't be bought in the UK and that's when she started the process of being the UK distributor.

I really love that Sarah's neighbour Michelle came aboard to help with the business plan and that the company started from the spare bedroom, that they have hired friends and family. It's a real story of going out on a limb and building a company on passion and determination. Now there are 20(ish) people that work at Fable and they are now the exclusive distributors of Buddha to Buddha another Danish company selling Handmade Sterling Silver Jewellery.

We then got to look at all the lovely world tour. Look at this amazing way they were presented to us:

Then the fun really began! Karen does a weekly design session but this week she decided to let us have a go at designing a Fantasy Necklace. Mine was based on my recent trip to my sisters wedding in Finland. 
I had Goldstone, Chocolate stripe and Golden Cave to represent the Earth, Silver Trace - Green, Turquoise in Troll Tree to represent all the forests (and because I think its ace!). On top of that was Blue Diamond and Blue Goldstone. The bottom had a Shadow Flower (Cause I love it) with a Lotus Flower between it and the pearl so that more of the pearl would be showing.

Congratulations need to go to Annabell from Norwich who won a lovely Chess Academy Lock!

After an amazing lunch Richard came back in to announce the grand winner of the competition and I was amazed when I came second and got to choose some amazing beads! We had trays and trays to choose from it was really over whelming.

Eventually I decided to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity and decided to get a Kit of Uniques, Kit of Universal Uniques and 2 Malawi Universal Uniques. I have wanted to have a world tour bracelet since they originally launched the tour so decided to choose a really good Star Spangled Bead and used the rest of my allocation on the Garden Gnome. Here they are in their glory.

I would just like to say another massive thank you to everyone at Fable for making it a brilliant day, it was really exciting to see where it all happens.

So Here's the first post!

Here is too a new Blog!
First, a little bit about me. My Name is Michael and I live in Bristol. I work at Beaverbrooks the jewellers and that is where I started my collection.
I've been collecting Trollbeads since Friday 13th August 2010 (Thanks Nic for having an amazing memory!) and here is my story from the Trollbeads website (Please note it was Published in August 2011, so is a little out of date, I will do a new one soon - but think you would rather hear about other Trollbead stuff for now):

My Trollbeads obsession started last August.  Having discovered these charm beads whilst working briefly in the Cribbs Causeway branch of Beaverbrooks  I found that I kept thinking about them.  Then, with the help of Rachael, Beaverbrooks Cribbs resident Trollbeads expert, I managed to catch the contagious Trollbeads bug! I was only going to have a black leather bracelet with a few silver beads on it but my collection has grown (usually on payday) to hold 30 beads, 2 leather bracelets and 1 silver one.
Michael Nand's gorgeous Trollbeads on leather
Trollbeads Moon Ocean
Particular favourites of mine are Moon Ocean because it has so many colours in it and I love the way the light hits it and it almost seems to change into a different bead. I love the way the deep blue is really contrasted by the 22ct gold in the Throat Chakra too.
If I had to choose my favourite silver beads they would be Tower (which I have bought twice as I lost the first one). It’s simple but still rather bold. Unity also gets a lot of comments as it is not completely clear what it is to start with and the meaning behind it is really lovely. Planet small was one of the first beads I bought so that has a special place in my collection and although not everybody likes Chick I think he is really cute (it helps that he is the closest thing to a penguin – so far!). I also love looking through the Trollbeads coffee table book,  ‘An Icon in Jewellery Design – Trollbeads’ as it makes the beads all the more special knowing about the Trollbeads family and how the beads are made.
Trollbeads Milky Way
My next beads will hopefully *hint* be Milky Way (to build on the blue theme) and I’m rather fond of Angels Feathers and Treasures – just because there is so much detail in them. I am also looking forward to November when I turn 21 as Nic, my partner has bought me a Gold Spacer which was released in the year of my birth and is now retired. I’m also really looking forward to seeing the new Autumn collection on 26th August and what other limited edition beads come from the 35th birthday of Trollbeads.  Also getting my hands on Rolling Waves on 19th August!
Working for Beaverbrooks is a real blessing and a curse! I get so much pleasure from helping someone take their first steps on their Trollbeads journey, helping them find the right beads to start off their collection and watching their eyes light up in surprise and awe, just as mine did, when they find out that they are all handmade; you suddenly see these tiny pieces of glass and silver in a whole new light – the amount of detail in them is amazing – the animal beads have eyes and fur and emotions!   I also really enjoy helping people choose them as gifts for others. The fact they all have names and meanings make them such an easy but thoughtful gift which can be kept forever and cherished.  Temptation is the curse!
More gorgeous Trollbeads on leather by Michael Nand
If you don’t already get the Trollbeads and Trollbeads universe emails then you really should! I love finding out all the latest news and getting some brilliant inspiration from the beautiful pictures. Also following them on Twitter is a must.  Check out Karen’s creations (or maybe Kreations) on Facebook, My Trollbeads, or bug them with all your Trollbeads related questions, like I do.  Lucy, who we call Tawny the Tweeter (long story), is amazing at getting back to you. They also do special competitions on there too!

Thank you Trollbeads!