Sunday, 11 November 2012

Jools Jools Jools!

So, for a little while I have wanted to write about a local retailer of mine called Jools. I was a little worried to do so at first as most of the people who read my blog don't live locally and Jools only have 2 stores down the South West. You can follow them on Facebook!

I popped in on Friday and met the most lovely member of staff  in any Jewellers that sells Trollbeads that I have ever met. (Does that even make sense?) The superstar lady was called Denise and I feel she deserves some recognition, along with a gent (who I think owns the business, sorry but I'm rubbish with names!)

Often with Trollbeads collectors our enthusiasm is our biggest enemy, we spend days and weeks drooling over pictures of the beads, studying all the descriptions and planning how our latest design will look (and how many admiring looks we will get as we walk down the road (is that just me?)) that when we actually go into a store we are often more excited by the Beads than the staff, or know a lot more than they do. Sometimes this isn't a problem, but I have noticed that often it means the level of service we receive isn't too great.

I have to be honest and I had heard bad reviews about Jools before I even visited them, but every time I have gone in (and it has been a lot recently, what with IJL, Halloween and Christmas releases) they have been really welcoming, friendly and had really brilliant knowledge of all beads, past and present. They hold a really diverse collection of Retired Beads, Uniques and lots and lots of the core collection.

Friday was the first time I have ever met Denise and she was so friendly we got talking straight away and you could tell that she was genuinely interested in all the rubbish I was rambling at her. We spoke about the Christmas release at length, then we spoke about Uniques and then she told me all about her own amazing collection (including a bead she had made especially for her) and we shared Snails in Love stories. At no point did she try to rush me, or push me, to buy anything and even when other customers came in she carried on speaking to me, even though she knew I wasn't buying anything.

The times before when I had been in Jonathan was again really helpful and patient. Happy to answer any questions I had (and I threw some random questions out there.) I love that they get multiples of the new beads on day of release and replenish them really frequently. Every time I go in they have new stuff to admire (much to Nic's annoyance)

I know this isn't usually what I write about but I felt that amazing customer service needs some recognition, and if you are ever in Bristol make sure you pay them a visit!

Sorry about no pictures - I'll try and update this in a couple of days when I can tell you all about my World Tour Bracelet! But until then enjoy your beads!xx

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Tis the season to be Jolly!

Before we continue with this post I would like to apologise for posting it in an incomplete state, if you read it full or errors I'm so sorry, it was very unprofessional of me, but I wanted to have my post live when the new beads were released. Anyhoo, he is the new improved version, without the spelling mistakes and with lots more pictures. Enjoy!

It's the most wonderful time of the year. My birthday is in 26 days *HintHint* to those who still haven't got me anything *cough* Nic and Mum *cough*

But even more exciting than my birthday is that is is nearly Christmas!! I really really love this time of year, with all the festive decorations and the fun of buying things for everyone you love. Lucky for us Trollbeads have released their new Christmas collection today for all those hard to buy for people!

There are 2 kits of glass beads retailing at £35 a bead (I'm sure most places will sell them separately. The first kit is exactly what I imagine when I think of Christmas. The traditional red/green combo and then has whites and glittering gold! These beads are from the sweet Christmas kit and I think it shows exactly that. Very festive, but not so over the top you couldn't wear them all year if you wanted.

The next kit is called the Christmas Decoration kit and some may say it is a bit more sophisticated. Personally I'm not so sure these beads represent Christmas, there is a lot of brown, cream, black and more gold glitter in this set. They do look a bit like tinsel, but I think the colours are more like natural animal tones. I haven't seen them in real life, and when I do I will probably want them too (darn Trollbeads)

All 12 glass beads are limited edition, and if last year is anything to go by they will sell like hot cakes. Fable have ordered more of these beads than last year though, so you should be OK!

There is also a new Ice Blue Diamond bead. The Diamond beads are always really popular as they give a lovely sparkle to any collection! This one is turquoise/white and sparkly. I have heard there is a lot of difference in these beads so it's worth seeing a few before purchase (and this isn't limited editon). And to be careful with them as the Diamond beads have been known (rarely) to internally shatter.

All the silver beads will be part of the normal collection come the end of the festive season, which is welcome news if you are anything like me and want them all! The exciting part for me of the Christmas collection is the silver beads (this is going to be my main buying focus for a little while, now I have discovered I have twice as many glass to silver beads)

Within the silver collection there are a couple of round beads which people love as it brings symmetry to your bracelet, and they are a pretty good price too, these include Winter Snow which is more detailed than Snow but less detailed than Snowball. I looks like those snowflakes you make when you fold paper into a triangle and cut parts out of it.(I have a funny feeling Snow may be retired in January, as I'm not sure why Trollbeads would want 3 snow beads, but that is just my thought)

The other round bead is perfect if you love collecting the flower ones. Christmas Rose has lovely big flowers on it and has a very geometric shape, it's a bit more stylised than the other flower beads so it's easier to see the pattern from a distance.

Winter Berries is another rounded bead with bobbles all over it and it is lucky enough to share its design with a new lock! Lock with Buds has less bobbles but you can tell its from the same design, I am going to wait to see the lock in real life before passing judgement. I really want to like it because I need a new more masculine lock, but I am worried the bubbles will dig in like the ones in my current Mexican Lock.I also question why Trollbeads would have 3 beads with bobbles on them. I think maybe Berries might be leaving the collection too?

Since I started collecting Trollbeads I have said there should be a penguin bead simply because I love them. And now there is! Penguin and Baby is rather cute with them facing each other with their beaks touching. If I were designing the perfect penguin bead it wouldn't have a round hole for the bracelet to go through but would have a penguin which was curved to fit around the bracelet and then an egg at its feet to show how long they look after their babies in freezing and dark conditions. But then I am a bit obsessed, so take it further than most people who think penguins are cute. Who knows, when I see this bead In the flesh, I may think its perfect, and even if it isn't I think that I will probably end up with it!

The bead which has been growing on me since I first saw the pictures on endangered trolls is the Christmas Tree, I live its simple look, it's similar to the double heart as it comes apart in 2 pieces, I think the idea of that is very clever and it reminds me of making table decorations and origami as a child. This bead will be in my collection soon hopefully! 

I was surprised when Seals was retired by Trollbeads, but now we know why. Seal Family has arrived and has a bit more detail to it making it more obvious and easy to see. In the picture it looks like it gas a couple of bigger seals and a couple of smaller seals. I think it is interesting that it is called seal family as it will now go with family of puppies and kittens, I wonder what the next family will be?
Carrying on the animal theme is the Polar Bear with Baby. This bead has a lot of detail with the baby cub clinging onto the belly of the adult bear. I think the design of this feels like a more traditional Trollbead as lots of the newer beads have a more simplistic design to them, or at least aren't as textured. Again I need to see this bead in real life before I am too critical of it.
Bougainvillea is an unusual bead, in that from its picture it looks quite thin and also like it only has pattern on one side. I'm a bit worried that the detail would slip to the bottom of the bracelet and be hidden. By the way apparently Bougainvillea is a type of flower but this bead reminds me of sleigh bells. This bead also has a rather expensive sibling which is 18ct gold AND diamonds!

The Real Bougainvillea
Soft Heart is the last silver bead to mention. If you have read this far you deserve a Christmas bead (and an Irish Coffee!) I can see this bead selling really well because it is a heart so makes a good, easy present. The idea behind it is cute as it looks like its so soft its started to melt, aww!

Now for the Uniques.
 The most exciting uniques look like baubles. They are little round dangly beads in lots of colours and patterns, they fit in the unique section, because, like the Easter eggs the part that goes through the chain (the eye) is bigger. These are very cute, not me, but a couple on a bracelet or necklace would look lovely. The Christmas Ornaments are limited edtion, so snap these up if you like them!

Trollbeads have also announced a unique Blue Diamond to go with Unique Pink, Black and White Diamond. And Azure bubbles which is a brilliant bead to introduce to non Trollbead collectors as it shows the workmanship and differences in all Trollbeads.

The new bangle is newsworthy in its own right so expect a new post about that when I have seen them on Sunday.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Ramblings of a mad man!

So I have decided to do a post which doesn't have anything to do with a bracelet I have created. A post just because I feel like blogging... Lets see where I end up!

I think the thing I find most interesting about trollbeads, beyond their high level of craftsmanship and the tactileness of them all, is the fact that so many different people buy them and continue to buy them even after they have finished a bracelet. And even more intrestingly that as soon as you see someone wearing Trollbeads they are your friend, you feel you can trust them, and you have so so so much to talk about.

I wonder if this is where Lise Aagard thought she would be 36 years after creating the brand?

What is it about tiny pieces of glass and silver that draws so many people's attention and makes them do things they normally wouldn't do? (in my case buy jewellery that isn't cheap costume stuff off the high street that goes orange and makes your skin go green)

I think maybe it's the fact that the closer you look at a bead the more you notice about it, the more detail you see and the less of the outside world worries you. Or maybe it's because you get them for special occasions so they mean something to you?

Anyhow, I feel I should stop rambling before you fall asleep! feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts and I shall see you tomorrow for the CHRISTMAS BEADS!!!!