[click on photos to enlarge]
What I love the most about keepsakes and preserving memories, is the opportunity to use symbolism to represent significant events of one's life.
Scrapbooking fills that niche, however lately, it has become my collection of Trollbeads.
I see parallels between scrapbooking, as recording memorable events of one's life, and Trollbeads--where each bead may represent a milestone, an accomplishment, a secret, a wish, a desire, a goal.
For example, the centrally placed birdhouse represents my current main role of a mother and a home-keeper. The bird with his beak open (next to the birdhouse), represents the constantly agape mouths in our house. Between serving meals and snacks, I feel like I work in the kitchen 24/7 :) This is just a sampling of the symbolism of my bracelet, the rest is my secret :)
On the flip-side, the same charm, such as a birdhouse, may represent something totally different to another person, perhaps confinement? The beauty of Trollbeads is that you build your own jewelry to make it personally meaningful. Another great benefit, is that your family and friends will never be at a loss of what to get you for a gift :)
I've spent some time researching between two competitors of jewelry in this style: Trollbeads and Pandora. Ultimately, I recognized Trollbeads as superior to Pandora, based on these differences:
- Trollbeads' gold is 18K, Pandora is only 14K
- Trollbeads has a greater variety of stunning lamp-work beads.
- The charms of Trollbeads seem to have more personality, and detail work; [See the second photo above] For example, I was pleasantly surprised to see a bird's nest and a baby chic on the other side of the birdhouse. You wouldn't be able to see it if you're wearing the bracelet, but this detail work from both sides is a testament of the fine quality and craftsmanship of Trollbeads.
- This might be very subjective, but I found Trollbeads to have more "soul" vs. commercialized 'bling' of Pandora. From the first time I felt Trollbeads they seemed to project an aura of mysticism. Their not so pretty troll and gnome faces, as well as designs gathering inspiration from nature seemed to imbue the Trollbeads with history, and a sense of mystery. Trollbeads just seemed more unpretentiously real to me.
My bracelet bead by bead:
- Starting from the Swan Lock 10115 (going down to the right)
- Stripe of fashion 61329
- Blue-Green Feather 61350
- Teddy Bear-Silver 11311
- Mardi Gras 61324
- Bee on Hive 11242
- Florence 61381
- Cherub-08 (11322-08)
- Dichroic Ice 62014
- Kiss 11271
- (2) retired Antique Flower Dark, both surrounding the focal bead...
- Forget Me Not w/ Bud 61723
- Birdhouse 11425
- Bird 11127
- Turquoise Dot 61314
- Gold Silver Trace 62023
- Purple Flower Bud 61330
- Angel & Demon 11231
- Green Flower Mosaic 62021
- Purple Flower Mosaic 62019
Sizing: my wrist is 6.5" measured tight against the skin. Trollbeads recommend adding +1"inch to your wrist size to arrive at the size of the bracelet to purchase. So I should have gotten the 7.5" (the measurement includes the clasp, however, I measured the length of my favorite bracelet clasp to clasp, and it was 8" long. So I ended up getting the 7.9" bracelet, and with all the bulky beads it fits perfectly.
My recommendation, is to measure your wrist and then add 1.5" (not 1"), to that measurement (if you plan on fitting an entire bracelet with beads).
*Some useful sites about Trollbeads:Photo Gallery
*Shopping for Trollbeads USA: