Friday, 21 June 2013


5th July 2012 is the day I started my blog. And I made it my aim to get to 10,000 views by my first anniversary. To do this I was determined to make lots of interesting posts that people would want to come back and read.

I'm not sure if I have been all that interesting... but I have come back from a week camping and I'm so happy to say that we have broken the 10,000 page views. You, dear lovely reader, have made a very smiley Michael, and for that I thank you very very much!

Now... What do I buy to celebrate? :D

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Very special Hand Models.

This next post was going to be spread out, like the week where I got Nic to choose beads at random and then made a bracelet at the end of the week; but this is my 50th post, and very late, and the creations are just too brilliant to make you wait!

It was a lovely sunny day in Birmingham and with my newly packed out Trollbead Stacking Case (more on that to follow) Grace, my younger sister, and Joe, my younger brother were let loose with my whole collection! With only one brief moment of panic when some beads fell off the end of a bracelet it was really interesting to see what kind of things they would create.

I was intending to blog over a number of days about 3 or 4 beads that they had chosen and then show the bracelet they created with them. So here are the beads Grace chose:

Royal Orange, Beach, Green/Brown Jasper and Cool Dusk make up the glass beads, and a cheeky Non-Troll silver turtle made the cut.

Here is how she put them together:
 A very bright, sunny bracelet! Green/Brown Jasper, Amazonite, Cool Dusk, Green Rainbow, Italy World Tour Spaghetti, Unique, Turtle, Unique, Honey Dawn, Royal Orange and Beach!
This is a glass heavy bead, which I was expecting as Grace loves all things colourful! but I think the eclectic mix was a bit of a surprise. I really like it though!
A better view of the precious stones on the end.

Joe struggled to just choose 4 beads so he just made up a bracelet!
Working on a red/blue theme. He has gone with Unique, Libra and Sagittarius, Blue Bud, Rolling Wave, US World Tour Bead, Bee on Hive, Malawi Unique, Tower, Scarlet Bud, Dice and Whitecap.

The bracelet again, in reverse, using the lid of my case as a background. Joe is clearly a boy after my own heart with lots of bright red and (always a hint of blue) His creation is more even than Graces with an alternating combo.

It seems that Grace had enough time to make up another quick combo. And this I adore!! It's really rich without colour without being over the top. It also has a lot of Precious stones in it, which I love!

(L-R) Red Tigers Eye, Tormulated Quartz, Agate Dendritic, Amazonite, Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Horse, Feather, Angles Tip, Cool Dusk, Silver Trace - Gold, Inner Glow, Milky Way, Christmas Tinsel (2011)

I hope you have enjoyed this very special 50th Blog Post!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

A mini post on the move

Nic and I are currently on the way to celebrate his mum's Birthday with a tea party (I'm hoping for Pimms) and I have made up a bracelet to match my outfit! I've tried this in the past and its not worked out quite as well as this one. I was so happy with the result I thought I should have an impromptu blog post!

I like the lopsidedness of the silvers on opposite sides, they were chosen on a whim, but the glass beads where chosen for their colour.

The Brown beads are a Red Jasper from 2011 Limited Edition Gemstones. A convention Jasper from the first UK Trollbead convention and a Red Tigers Eye. I only realised they were all gemstones once they were on, but I love the organic Brown colour they give.

The green beads are all glass. Christmas in Australia has browns in it too, so that works well. Kimono bead is the exact shade of my polo shirt and has a bird on it (my shirt has flying geese) and turquoise feather finishes this bracelet.

After a discussion with Mars, over at Curling Stones, expect a few on posts on the fly, like this!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Better Late than Never!

Sorry about the delay. After a lovely weekend with a visit to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and then having an OU assignment due I didn't have time to put together a bracelet from the three beads that had a review last week!

But I'm really happy with the result (with Nic's very valuable help) I hope you all agree its worth the wait. Here is *Drum Roll* ...

Seaside Themed Bracelet!

It was pretty obvious the way I should go with Treasures being the only silver bead chosen. The Blue Agate are the perfect colour to be sea or sky and Light Blue Shadow, well, that goes really well with beach :P

Here is the combo!
I loved the way the light shone through one of my few remaining ambers and thought I would use it as a centre bead to signify the sun! The silver beads were co-selected with Nic. From Left to right we have Sandi (for a sandy Beach) Rolling Waves, Treasures, Unity (which looks like a beach ball) Tower (for sandcastles) and Viking Ship.

I wanted it to not be completely evenly spaced, but I couldn't leave it, so it's almost, not quite, even.

The glass beads were picked to the blue sea theme. Along side the Agates and Light Blue Shadow we have (L-R) Kimono, Blue/Yellow Unique, Blue/White Unique for the sky and clouds, Silver Mountain to balance with LB Shadow, Wave of Dreams for Waves on the beach, Beach, Blue Unique
Here's a few close ups:

And one last picture, I think the mini blogging mission was sucessful, I might cheat next time and write the whole weeks posts in one go, but Shhh!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

This weeks purchases, thanks to Social Networks!

So, this isn't the combination from this weeks review posts, but I made up this bracelet for today's trip to the Museum and Art Gallery I was rather proud of my work and wanted to immortalise it here (so I could recreate it when I forget what it looks like!)

So last week Jools @JoolsJewellery posted a picture of their delivery of Royal Orange beads and after a quick conversation the very lovely Denise reserved their most sparkly bead for me and sent it from Bridgewater to Bristol for me to have :D It is very sparkly especially in natural light due to its 'Micro-Facets' (Thanks Jonathan for enlightening me to that expert term!)

The only issue I have with this bead is that its very bright and I don't have any other beads that are that orange, it's very bright. This doesn't matter when it is housed on my World Tour Bracelet, but I wanted to wear it to work and show it off. So I teamed it with some dark blue beads and wore it to work for a few days.

Then this week the lovely Zef alerted me to a sale happening at SWAG via the medium of Facebook. This gave me the chance to pick up the Chinese Zodiac Horse to go with my Limited Edition version, I didn't think I could get this bead much cheaper second hand, and I was being very good at stopping one bead!

This bead gave me the inspiration to pool all my Far Eastern themed silver beads into one combo. I put Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Horse, Chinese Zodiac Horse, World Tour Sacred House and World Tour Chinese Auspicious with Royal Orange, Orange Armadillo and Christmas 2011 Blue Tinsel and Throat Chakra. Add a few twists and were away!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Turquoise Striped Agate

*Warning, This post is rather picture heavy, I wanted to show the variety in these beads*

The final bead for this weekday review blog comes in the form of a final four beads!
These particularly lovely beads (if you happened to miss the title) are the Striped Turquoise Agate. Agate is a metamorphic rock and was given its name by Greek philosopher Theophrastus for all you scientist historians out there.

Trollbeads released 2 types if agate in 2 colours in January 2011. Pink and Blue. Striped and Plain. Due to the massive variances in colour and stripeyness these beads they are best seen in real life. I’m not sure why, but these beads didn’t sell very well and for a (not very) limited time in 2012 they were 40% off (the earrings went 40% off too (for a more) limited time)

I was always rather taken by the blue agate and when the offer came around I couldn’t pass it up! I have 4 really different beads and I have taken quite a few pictures so you can see the sides.

This bead is rather thin, thinner than the other un-faceted gemstones, but due to its vibrant colours they stand out beautifully in any creation! I know that Mars is fond of her Agates, so give her blog a look! 

It’s worth noting that they also have a Striped Black Onyx Kit which is really lovely too, but that is for another post!

So we have Light Blue Shadow, Treasures and Blue Striped Agates to work into a combo! Best get my thinking cap on!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


The next bead to be reviewed is the silver Treasures bead.

Treasures Compared in Size to Porcupine and Stay Positive
This bead is one of my favourite beads, being round it work in pretty much any bracelet combo. It is a fair size, it’s bigger than Porcupine, but smaller than Joyful, and it’s hollow but is still a good weight.

Treasures Compared in Size to Porcupine and Stay Positive
The official description from Trollbeads reads ‘A silver Trollbead that's different from every angle. Treasures; for the love you treasure in your life.’

Here you can see the different sides.

It shows the treasure of the sea with a starfish, seaweed, flat shell and conch shell over it. I love the amount of texture with the bead and the fact that the holes where the bracelet goes are incorporated into the design and not ‘drilled’ through it. It features lots of open spaces within its design, but unlike Mesh or Ornament you have to look really closely to see the chain showing through. On the brighter leathers you may be able to see it more; unfortunately I don’t have any (yet) to try it out on!

I tried to compare Treasures with Love within, Chinese Zodiac Limited Edition (this one is Horse) and Angles Tip. It was hard to try and get photos which clearly show the size of this bead and I wanted to use as many options as possible incase you had the other beads, but not Treasures (you need it!) 

Treasures is often confused with Ocean which is the same size and carries the same oceanic theme. The way to tell them apart is that Treasures has a Conch shell on it and Ocean has a half a starfish verses Treasures full one.
I love this bead because of its starfish (and my obsession with the star shape) and because the shells remind me of going to the beach and hunting them out for my mum who loved all the designs and colours of the shells.

Let see what this gets pared with for the weekend!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Light Blue Shadow

I think it’s time to try something new! I’m going to try something new and review a few beads in the week and then on the weekend make a bracelet up with them. Fingers crossed it works!

The first bead was picked at random by Nic and is the Light Blue Shadow. This bead forms part of the Contemporary kit which was retired in January 2013, but there are still a lot of these about if you wanted the kit or just the LB Shadow bead. 

Within the kit you will find;
Light Blue Shadow, Green Shadow both these beads share the same design – they are clear glass with irregular shapes (mainly oval) holding the colour these seem to be just under the surface of the bead, but higher than the core.
Red Symmetry, Brown Symmetry, Purple Symmetry and Blue Symmetry. These beads feature a translucent core in the particular colour and then rather vibrant squares with a white edge to them.

It was a shame to see this kit be retired as I loved them all, I think that people may have been put off by the eclectic mix of colours, but I think the fact they share similar designs means that they work well together, or you could just use them in 6 different bracelets!

For a colour comparison I have put it next to a few other blue beads. Seeing them together makes the LB Shadow look more white than blue, which put a spanner in the works beacuse I did the text for this blog before the pictures!

This bead would work perfectly on a winter themed bracelet, it feels cool and icy. Being quite neutral hopefully it will work with the other beads picked out this week!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


I've had a bit of a case of writers block, so have decided to try a quick little post on my phone to see if that will help! Here's how I took to wearing my new beads from the Trollbead Crawl. They don't really match in a theme, the Tormulated Quartz and Agate Dentric were bought to mirror each other, but I then found the 'Black Braid' that I thought I had sold and had to wear it as I love it!
Silver Mountain goes amazingly with the Quartz and that's where the idea to pair my beads came from!

I had an excuse to wear my new Coral Stripe bead too!

Let me know what you think and if you have anything you'd like me to blog (cheeky hope for inspiration! :P)

Monday, 8 April 2013

3rd Annual Bristol Trollbead Crawl.

If you follow me on Twitter (@Mokeymike) where I was live tweeting the whole day) you will have seen that I was lucky enough to attend the 3rd Annual Bristol Trollbead Crawl. Organised by a couple of very lovely ladies (and avid collectors) the idea is for a group of Trollbead collectors to get together and go to all the local retailers.

I had agreed with myself that I would only buy one bead. Probably the Agate Dendritic or Ruby Rocks as these beads vary so much it’s worth seeing them in real life and the retailers had ordered extras for us to admire.

We all met at Cribbs and headed off in a convoy of 3 cars. Our first stop took us to Gifted in Nailsea (BS48 1RG, if you fancy taking a trip there yourself – but don’t buy the tigers eye or Silver Retired Clown that I wish I had bought!) they had laid out a table with lots of OOAKs (glass and amber) New beads on bracelets and multiples of the Brand new (and unreleased Royal Orange bead) Ruby Rocks and Agate Dendritic. They also had the beautiful Aurora Bangle!

They offered us a really generous 10% off all purchases and I had to take advantage when I saw a beautiful Agate that was really black with a few specks of white in it. In all the photos I have seen this bead has been mostly white with a few black bits. I want to, one day, own all the precious stones and this one works brilliantly as a juxtaposition to the Tormulated Quartz.
The lovely Ladies at Gifted had made up a goody bag which had some lovely smelling hand cream, a pack of novelty tissues and a little notebook. A few lucky ladies also got a sparkly mini torch for pre-ordering the new Aurora.

After Gifted we headed to Sue Foster in Clifton (BS8 4BT) this was a really cute boutique with lots of pieces of jewellery that Sue herself calls eclectic. She had trays and trays of beads and they seemed to keep coming! Some really beautiful treasures were snapped up here, but I was being good and didn’t buy anything (even though I saw a bead that went perfectly with my new Orange Dillo – more of that in another post)

It was time for lunch, and after a brief walk in the sun through the wonderful Clifton we headed to a cafe called Fahrenheit 419. The service was a little slow, but this just gave us chance to examine the morning’s purchases, look at the AMAZING collections everyone was wearing. Play with the swap beads and admire Beth’s Small and Beautiful beads.

Time was running away with us, and it was time to head to Jools in Bristol (BS1 3XA) I was really looking forward to this, as you know, I love Jools and they had got lots of stock in for us, so they had more retired beads and OOAKs than usual. They also ran a competition so for every bead bought you got a raffle ticket to win the White Jewellery Box. We spent a very long time playing with the beads, lots of ladies wanted the retired pink prism, so we destroyed their displays to choose from them all! Ooops!

While we were all playing with all the beads I saw lots of beads I had never seen before, the retired Polar Bear is lovely, but I couldn’t work out how it would look on a bracelet. I did however get talked into buying Tupilak, an early Trollbead which is small like Mocha, but has 3 faces on it. I was umming and ahhing about it and then I realised that 2 of the faces shared one mouth, not only is this cute, but it work really well with my love of symmetry and I had to have it!
I also saw an amazing Red Tigers Eye which had the most brilliant flashes in it! Better than any I had ever seen, so I had to have that too. And then I saw a Wave of dreams with a lovely Greeny/Blue wave and a dark half and a light half and I knew this had to become part of my collection too as it would work with so many of the beads I have already.
My Days Purchases

The last stop for me was House of Frasier. I was a bit worried about going here, because although Nic works there, I have never received very good service from them and their stock levels have always been a bit poor. But the ladies organising the trip had been in and met a lovely member of staff and told me that they had lots of stock in. Unfortunately, as soon as I got there a member of staff was really rather rude, and when the rest of the gang turned up it only got worse. Luckily there was another sales assistant that could help those not put off the beautiful beads, and she even took the wrist shot, making an official part of the gang!

The rest of the Crawl continued to another Jewellers, but I had to give it a miss.

A massive thank you to Helen and Amanda, and here is to next year! (Hopefully a few more people can join us!) :D