Beads on the Beach

I am so lucky to live only a 45 minute drive from this beautiful  beach on Lake Huron. I try to go once a week each summer to relax in blissful abandon. I used to just take a book, but this summer it’s beach, book and beads.


Here is a single Pandora bead, a Disney Ariel’s Colour Murano on the new Ice Blue leather bracelet. This combination really does mirror the lake on a sunny, summer day. I used the Olloclip to peak inside and it was amazing. It resembles the bubbling, churning, frothing waves!


The sand and pebbles make lovely backgrounds for bracelets with beads photos.


Yesterday was so hot, only the lightest combinations were comfortable. I love trying the Trollbeads Bee stoppers in any combination which will have them.


I always seem to put Muranos glass beads on every bracelet I wear , and just because I attempted this pretty combination of wonderful Pandora beads, does not mean I have lost my passion for them!



I had to create shade with my beach umbrella, which doesn’t make for great photos, but it was necessary.



Goodbye beach, until next week.

Soleil Beads


Recently I purchased a bead from Glass Artist, Hillary Campfield’s  from her website SoleilBeads. I ordered “Beach Flower”, on the left, because of its beautiful colour, and because I love flower beads, which I hoped would work well with my many coloured flower beads. The beautiful blue bead was a lovely surprise, as Hillary kindly added it to my order without charge. Imagine my excitement!


They are both much bigger than all of my beads but I am very happy with their beauty, colours and quality of craftsmanship. The colour of Beach Flower fits beautifully with many of my beads, which I had hoped, and it makes a wonderful focal bead. Above, it is framed by two Pandora Disney Tinkerbell beads and the gorgeous new Pandora Tropical Parrot. 


Today I went for a swim in Lake Huron, my favourite summer getaway on a day off work. See how perfectly the Blue bead fits with my Elfbeads Jungle Dunes. The sun was suitably blinding and thus the waves of heat coming from the sands have helped to make it appear like a mirage.


It is a rich, watery mix of blue and turquoise. I tried using both beads in various combinations on my Trolbeads bangle and my Pandora leather and silver bracelets with the following, lovely results.



I am very happy with these two spectacular beads and have been enjoying them, usually simply framed by similarly coloured glass beads, just so I can admire them unfettered.

Hillary posts new beads every Thursday  evening on her site, each one is unique and beautiful. I am now checking it regularly, waiting to find the next bead to add to my collection. I have to thank Martha and her beautiful IG account and blog post for featuring her own Soleil beads, which is what sent me hurrying over to Hillary Campfield’s site to make a purchase of my own.

Bead Frenzy

  
This beautifully beaded dragon is one of the many pieces for sale at BeadFX in Toronto. I was there yesterday after a lovely birthday lunch at a Thai restaurant in The Beach area of Toronto with my family. The lunch was in honour of my niece , Phoenix.  

The bead woven dragon is the work of an indigenous Mayan bead artist in Guatemalamala. To read about the company which imports them, you can go to their website  Tropic Options

My daughter and I love this store, it is definitely the best in our area for all bead supplies, really, all supplies, needles, silver clay, silver, gold wire, and every colour and make of beading thread imaginable.

  
There are dozens of panels throughout the store like this one! There are pearls, crystals , ceramic, semi-precious and glass beads from around the world. 

  
I foraged through baskets full of handmade lampwork beads by Toronto artists and came home with a couple of beauties.

  
I chose this tiny, beauteous treasure made by Carol Cooper, who happened to be working in the store that day!

  
It fits perfectly on my Pandora Essence bracelet. The dragon ceramic pendant will become a pendant on a necklace which my daughter is making as I write this. We always get carried away there, what we call our ” Bead Frenzy”, which many beaders can understand when  surrounded by millions of desireable beads, all in one enormous, wonderful store. The staff are very patient, and I am sure they’re used to people getting dizzy and flighty in their store.

  
On our way home we made a detour around a second traffic accident on the main highway and ended up in the amazing Trollbeads store in Brampton, Earthworks, which was also a very convenient excuse on my part!

  
I bought only one bead  there, Graceful Sky, and am very happy with it. It was a perfect day spent with family, my dear sister and niece and my daughter , who is my bead foraging companion. 

For a taste of Bead Frenzy…BeadFX


Three, or Four Pandora Bracelets

  
One beautiful bracelet should be enough for one woman, right? I think that if we have a “large-boned” build, we think that one is not enough. I feel that ways most days, but now that the sticky, hot weather has settled in for summer, I do need to rethink my favourite heavy, multiple stacks of bracelets.

  
Here’s a light, flowery and summery bracelet using my new Frosty Mint Shimmer and favourite Daisy beads. All photos are taken in the shade nowadays, as the sun is just too hot for me.
  
But, then, I waiver and add another. I usually wear one bracelet with three, four or five favourite Muranos and then build two complimentary bangles, because that’s a habit which is hard to change. Above, I have added the new Teal Shimmer and Teal Droplets to my collection.

  
This is an intensely shady photo as it was 28 C at 8:30 that morning. Two bangles instead of one, because I just prefer that look.

  
My neighbour’s cats enjoy my early morning photos. Here is another typical threesome for me, with Sophie on board. Two Frosty Mint Shimmers are better than one, obviously!

  

Then what happens is that I like to wear my Pandora Essence bracelets too, as they are very light and small. I’m having a bead love affair with the Shimmer Muranos.

  
Yes, four! Back to three.

  

 Very, very hot days force a more practical stack which gives the appearance of five, but is just three. Two leather and one Essence feels like one because they are so light.

  
Millie adores this light combo. 

 
But, Phoebe and I still prefer my usual threesome. 

  

Elfbeads 

   

 Blush Monroe was my first Elfbead and having nothing  as exquisite as this in my bead collection, I was bound to buy more and begin my new quest!  
As summer is finally here after a very long, cold spring, the garden is full of glorious flowering trees, shrubs and flower beds. All beads seem to glow right now! This photo demonstrates that photos taken in direct sun loose their subtlety .  

 
I do love the colour turquoise so the new Moss Silver Flakes had to be mine. Here it is framed by Jungle Dunes, and Pandora’s new Teal Clips,  this now being one of my favourite combinations on my Trollbeads bangle.

  
Mystic Scales is a plummy, red, burgundy, deep red cherry colour, well, one or all of those descriptions. It is a very changeable, chameleon-like bead depending on where it finds itself. It really is a tiny work of art.

  
Swamp Fireflies is another new bead in my Elfbead collection, I am in bead-love with this one. Here it sits atop a ring which my daughter made for me and is being kissed by my sweet Redbalifrog tree frog . As it has blue, purple and green swirled through the glass, and what appear to be tiny balls of gold glass, I find it looks wonderful in multiple combinations.

 I have been wearing it in this combination with my Pandora Green Oval Lights for many days. It compliments so many of the colours I wear in the summer and I like to think of it as being “stage-lit”.

These are just a few of my favourite Elfbeads. It is easy to order them From Great Lakes Boutique and also from the lovely Jennifer from her site, Billboard.com  It is even more of a treat to be able to select them in person, as I had the great fortune to do a week ago with my London On. bead friends.

  
  
 

Turquoise Beads

  
It seems a long while since Pandora released any teal and turquoise beads which have been as  exciting as the Teal Shimmer Murano on the right and the Teal Pavé Silicone lined Clips on either end of this bracelet, and I have had two weeks of fun with them. The White Shimmer in the middle has also been gorgeous, good fun.

  
 Above are three of my favourite, non-Pandora beads, two marvellous Elfbeads framing a retired Trollbead. Left to right, Jungle Dunes, Turquoise Green Dot and Ocean Scales.

  
 
Pandora’s Teal Droplets are brilliant, complex beads, as is the centre Elfbead, Sea Dew Drops. This is my perfect days off work bracelet!

  
 
The centre bead on the bottom bracket is the Pandora Jasmine Murano which is beautiful, too, but now as pretty as the new Shimmer Teal, in my opinion. The two charms framing it are very intricate bead-set cubic zirconias in a wonderful mix of teal, emerald and clear stones.

  
This is my Instagram post from today, which features many of my favourite teal and turquoise Pandora beads.

  
Finally, one of my turquoise, teal and green bracelet stacks from last week. I wear a variation on these bracelets quite often, and find it fun to try to change it up by working in pinks, mauves, blues, white and even, occaisionally, orange. 

Darling Buds of May

  
 May is one of my favourite months of the year. It takes mere weeks for new plant shoots to make their way out of the earth and for buds to form on the trees, but in what seems to be only three days over the Victoria Day weekend, there is such a flourishing and abundance of leaves and flowers that it is dizzying. 
  
I love the tiny details on the Pandora Mystic Floral silver beads and like them with the feathered clips at each end. The green Oval Lights are the colour of the tips of baby grass, and the centre bead is the teal Disney Jasmine’s colour.

  

 
Above are four of my favourite, now retired, Pandora Murano glass, Green Swirly Swirl, Green Zig Zag, Green Looking Glass and Green Ribbon. May is all about the new growth in so many shades of  glorious green. I also love the Dazzling Daisies on either end, they are big enough in scale and proportion to balance with Muranos.

  

Pandora does flower beads to perfection! The Darling Daisy Spacers above are a great example. I have yet to see another Murano Glass bead with the beauty, detail, colour and depth of design as I find in the Wildflowers bead in the middle of this bracelet. Lily of the Valley is one of my all time favourite Spring flowers, with Snow Drops coming in at the top of my list!

  

Wrinkly old skin aside, here is the threesome I wore the most over the past few weeks, (this photo was taken in the early morning sun as I left for work),  with slight changes each day because there are just too many other beauteous beads to ignore.

  
 As Emerald is my Birthstone, I do have some Emerald green beads. I will never tire of green beads, or stones and they blend so beautifully with pinks, purples, blues , yellows, oranges, you get the idea. Time to go outside to water my potted plants and smell the lilacs in the warm night air.

Beads in May

Spring in Ontario has been cooler than usual but flowers are blooming  in spite of the cold, and even snow!  I grew flower bead crazy, not a medical term, with each passing week , which was inspired in part by Pandora’s Spring collection.


These two beads are not new, but long-time favourites; the Lucky Cat sitting atop Field of Daisies.


The Purple Shimmer Murano was so pretty that I had to have two of them, also because it looks lovely next to the Blue Fascinating Irridescent , which is a glorious bead which I bought for myself as a Christmas present. It does seem to look beautiful with many of the older Murano beads. The flowers are from the Borage plant which has edible leaves and which always bloomed in our garden each Spring.

In the photo above, are more old mixed with new. Another Spring purchase was two of the small Pink Primrose clips, but am thinking I need two more because they are so sweet! On the top left corner is Wild Flowers Murano which is still my favourite and to its right, is Poetic Blooms. Pandora beads are superb in detail, craftsmanship and design, which can be seen in this close-up.


Finally, I put the  new Nostagic Roses between my two Purple Shimmer. On either side of the purple Muranos is the Daisy Meadow Lavender Enamel bead which is not a popular bead, although I have no idea why. I use them regularly because of their detailed work and pretty colour. I will never tire of it, but would love to see Pandora repeating it with other colours . Wishful thinking…. I just can’t get enough flower beads!

Rabbit Love and Springtime

Spring is a marvellous time, blooming with new life and the air full of  floral perfumes.

No matter how cold it was, or even snowy, my dear mother was immediately full of optimism and conviction that Spring was just around the corner, the moment the precious Snow Drop flowers showed their simple but exquisite blooms. She loved Easter , spring-time garden cleaning and planting, especially large patches of Shasta Daisies and lettuce. She worked hard at attracting rabbits to our garden, much to the chagrin of our grumpy neighbours.

Our mother was talented and prolific Doll Artist. She gave my siblings, her grandchildren, and myself a deep love and appreciation for all the beauty around us, outside in indoors. Each one of us who survive here without her, have mixed feelings about this time of year, this April 2nd being the 10th anniversary of her death. April 11th was her Birthday. 

She made this Moth Fairy for my birthday 16 years ago.

  
My daughter and I had the wonderful gift of having spent many years living with her, learning her techniques in doll-making, sewing, beading, painting, knitting, reading and so much more. Not long after her grandmother died, my daughter made this beautiful rabbit bracelet for me with Japanese seed beads, the brilliant spirit of my Mum is always present in her creations. 

  

 My mother and I made dolls, fairies, mermaids and fantasy figures which we sold in Craft and Art shops in Quebec and Ontario. My mother worked full-time on her art, unlike me, and had a huge following of collectors for her work. I made one each of these rabbits for her and for my daughter 20 years ago. I thought it would look sweet with this seasonal Pandora bracelet .
  
Here are two more Springtime Pandora bracelets which are assembled for this blog with love for my mother and for my daughter. Our Easter traditions remain in our hearts, but we have new ways of celebrating Spring and Easter, fun and happiness tinged with sadness and loss. Today we went bead and crystal shopping together, as we often do, and had a great outing.

The first one has a focal Troll bead, (bought today),  surrounded by two Pandora opalescent spacers, two Essence “Wisdom” beads on an Essence bracelet.

  
This last photo is bursting with love for all  my current favourite Pandora beads and bracelets. Happy springtime! We saw our first rabbit in the garden three weeks ago!

  

Bead Hunters

My daughter and I have spent countless hours searching for perfect beads for various sewing and beading projects for over 30 years. Our favourite destination of choice is Beadfx in Toronto, (as well as roaming in and out of the beads stores along Queen St.). Check out their exhausting website to get an idea of all the treasure to be found there.

If you are on a quest to touch every single bead in the world, you will just have to go there yourself. They have the best selection of crystal beads, Miyuki Seed beads, pearls, beads from all over the globe and every type of beading supply you might desire. 

        

 
Today we set off for Kitchener and Exeter to check out the state of the Troll Beads dealers in those two locations. It was a disaster all around. Both stores are bereft of beads, as they are both selling off their few remaining pieces. We consoled ourselves with a trip to Chapters for coffee and cake pops and a good book each as a reward for our failed quest. Luckily I was wearing a Pandora bracelet full of pastel Murano glass beads and so was able to focus on them, as well as which book I would buy, based on the various recommendations of some of my Instagram friends, while sipping my cappuccino.
      
Recently I discovered the excellent Troll dealer in Brampton On., Earthworks.  Next bead foraging trip will see me on Hwy 407, the fastest route to their door! If you are interested in crystals of all sorts, that’s your place, too. George has his own sales technique which is very easy going, patient, not at all adverse to wandering off and leaving me to examine each and every bead with my Hubble telescope, to make sure I found the perfect specimen. Great pleasure is to be found in just rolling a bead around between your fingers and dwelling on its each and every facet!

  

Success! and thank-you Sam and George for your help. I will be a regular visitor there now, as they have a rewards card and, because I am discovering the joys of cross-beading, mixing and matching, and just playing, thanks to the ispirational posts of Martha on Instagram, and on her beautiful blog.  She’s my kind of enthusiast and true lover of all things bead.