The Wonders Of Open Work (Review of Pandora Open Work Beads)

The Wonders Of Open Work (Review of Pandora Open Work Beads)

Summer has finally come to the UK!  While many of you are falling in love with Pandora’s newly launched 2013 ‘A Tale By The Sea’ collection with those eye-catching pieces, let’s not forget they also did a great job in their 2012 Spring/Summer collection which contains a series of open work beads (beads with cut out designs).

pandora open work Pandora open work beads & pendant

There is no reason not to love…

1.  Simply lovely – all the open work beads are sweet looking and they also have a  vintage feel.  While some of us cannot resist the cute animal pieces, many ladies would prefer simple and elegant designs like these open work beads.  They are especially great when mixing with the plain silver beads in my opinion.

pandora bracelet Mixing open work designs with plain silver beads

2.  Budget choice – the open work pieces (silver) are one of the more affordable selections in the Pandora range, I assume it is because they use less silver.  However, this doesn’t affect their quality.  They are a decent size with substantial thickness and great details.

pandora open work They have substantial thickness and great details.

pandora seeing star Pandora ‘Seeing Stars’ open work bead

3.  Non screw rocks – did I mention I DO NOT like the screw-on concept of Pandora beads in my other post?  It really irritates me and I cannot think of one single reason to appreciate that idea at all.  A bracelet can be damaged or even snap broken when beads get caught at one of the four threads on the bracelet.  Therefore, I learned to use more clips to solve this problem.  Since most of these open work designs are slide on, it is easier to build your bracelet with them and they will not catch the threads.  They can also cover the threads and work as a replacement for clips if you put them in the right places.

pandora leather braceletUsing an open work bead to cover the thread and create this simple starter bracelet

4.  Convertible – lately, Pandora has introduced earring barrels, together with earring hooks, which allow us to transform open work beads into some stunning earrings.  I am very tempted to get a pair of  clear ‘Leading Lady’ open work beads for that reason.  Did I just think out loud? 🙂 


In the coming Fall/Winter collection, Pandora is going to put out a few more of the open work pieces, like the Black Friday charm this year will be an open work snowflake bead set with cubic zirconia and I am, of course, not sad about it! 🙂   How do you like the open work designs?  Which piece(s) do you like most?

pandora open work I love them all!


by The Cool Apples

© 2013 The Cool Apples. All Rights Reserved.


Wallet Disaster – Discounts Continue… (Trollbeads, Pandora and more)

Wallet Disaster – Discounts Countinue… (Trollbeads, Pandora and more)

This is the time of the year that our wallets are not safe anymore…in a good way! 🙂

I am sure many of our Pandora addicts have been busy shopping since the Pandora promotion (50% discounts on selected items) started last month.  However, when one ends, another starts…

As Swarovski has started their big sale (up to 50% off), John Greed Jewellery (UK based) just started their Trollbeads sale today (up to 75% off of the entire Trollbeads stock) for our UK trollies.   Some fabulous deals like brown and beige leather bracelet is only £12.50 (RRP £25), silver bracelet is £17.50 (RRP £35), purple heart valentine’s glass dangle is £13 (RRP £52), silver bangle is £45 (RRP £90) …while Joshua James Jewellery (another UK jeweller) also has their Trollbeads sale going on.

For the USA ladies, Pandora will start their promotion on 8th July to 15th July 2013 – spend $100USD and receive your choice of a single leather bracelet ($40 USD), you are also allowed to upgrade the deal to get a silver bracelet or a silver bangle.

Click on the picture to bring you to John Greed Trollbeads Sale

Don’t forget Links of London and Thomas Sabo Sale are still going on.  Get your hands busy ladies and don’t forget to let me know what treasure you have got! 🙂

by The Cool Apples

© 2013 The Cool Apples. All Rights Reserved.

Discounts, discounts and discounts! (Pandora, Trollbeads and more…)

Discounts, discounts and discounts! (Pandora, Trollbeads and more…)

1. Perlen

An online retailer Perlen will stop selling Pandora soon.  They just announced a great offer (50% off) on the Pandora lobster clasp necklaces and bracelets.  Click on the following link to check out the offer.

Pandora bracelet
Perlen is selling this lovely Pandora lobster clasp silver bracelet at about £22.57.

2. Steffans

Steffans, a famous UK jeweller, has been having their sales on some products of various brands, e.g. Trollbeads, Swarovski, Thomas Sabo, Gucci…  Check out their offer with the link provided.

Trollbeads earrings
Bought this pair of Trollbeads earrings at 1/3 of the RRP at Steffans! 🙂

Let me know if you have got a bargain from them. 🙂

by The Cool Apples

© 2013 The Cool Apples. All Rights Reserved.

Bling & Twink… Swarovski Crystals

Bling & Twink… Swarovski Crystals

swarovski necklace

What woman doesn’t love sparkles?  Even if I am not a big fan of sparkles myself, I don’t mind a wee bit of bling to brighten up my day.

Swarovski – a well known company which mainly sells luxury fashion jewellery,  glass sculptures and miniatures made of crystals which melt a lot of ladies’ hearts.  Like I said I am not a big sparkle fan, but there is something about Swarovski crystals that makes you stop and gaze.   That’s my excuse for the consequence of a few Swarovski pieces ending up in my jewellery box! 🙂  I would love to share some of my favourite pendants/necklaces with you.

In recently years, Swarovski has launched quite a few playful pieces featuring adorable characters like Hello Kitty, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Eliot and Erika, to extend their market to younger customers.  However, my personal favourites are their classic pieces which I can wear every day without giving a lot of thought about how to mix and match them with my outfits.

Pave Setting Vs Facet Cut

Does size matter?  I think not – in the world of Swarovski jewellery.  Many Swarovski pieces are pave set with small crystals, while others have a single or a couple of bigger ones.  I love how the pave setting exudes sparkles, whereas the larger stones often come in facet cutting which, on the other hand, gives out a lot of ‘rainbows’!

swarovski necklace

swarovski necklace

Cut out design

Swarovski cleverly uses the negative space concept to create a series of cut out design pendants which I truly adore.  These pieces remind me of the art of Chinese paper cutting.  The design adds another dimension and transforms them into art.

swarovski necklace

swarovski necklace

Luxury Details And Authenticity

By looking at how Swarovski puts the swan logo on each piece, you can notice the attention to detail they put into their products.  The swan logo was first introduced in 1989 and has been stamped on all genuine Swarovski crystals products ever since (different stamps were used before then).  I am sure this little swan won’t make their owners feel like ugly ducklings. 😉

swarovski necklace

swarovski necklace

swarovski necklace

Perhaps the sparkles we get from Swarovski crystals is a means to grasp our childhood wonders towards the twinkle twinkle of little stars in the sky. That could be why their pieces are so well loved around the globe.

swarovski necklace
A Swarovski piece would make any discerning lady feel over the moon…

by The Cool Apples

© 2013 The Cool Apples. All Rights Reserved.

Troll-Man (Trollbeads Leather Bracelet For Men)

Troll-Man (Trollbeads Leather Bracelet For Men)

Is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to think of gift ideas for husbands, boyfriends….etc?

Recently I decided to buy my partner a Trollbeads leather bracelet for our anniversary in May. I thought about it long and hard, after all, we cannot deny that Trollbeads is basically a female market.

On the other hand, I am familiar with the brand and have confidence in their quality, so I decided to go for it and I have not regretted my decision since the recipient is very happy and wearing his new bracelet every day.

Trollbeads leather bracelet                  Trollbeads leather bracelet
It doesn’t affect his guitar playing!                     Thumbs up for the bracelet! 🙂


  • 10 colours choices
  • RRP £25 (for the leather bracelet itself, clasp not included)
  • Sizes: 36cm, 39cm, 41cm, 45cm
  • Width: each leather bracelet comes in double strands, each strand measures 3mm

Little Tips For The Leather Bracelet

Cut the end to fit

My Trollbeads leather bracelet is the 35cm (the smallest), but with the lock added to the length, it was still too long for me. This was easily sorted by cutting any extra length at the end of the bracelet.

Add a jump ring for easy fastening

When I first got my leather bracelet, I was going to return it because it was way too difficult to fasten! Seriously I don’t know how others can do it! Then I tried to put a jump ring at the end, it turned out to be great and it doesn’t affect the look even slightly in my opinion.

Trollbeads leather bracelet
For easy fastening, add a jump ring at the end.  You can also cut the end for fitting.

Not all the beads fit onto it

I am a bit disappointed that some of the beads cannot go onto the bracelet, like my Hong Kong Skyline glass bead and a couple of classic core glass beads. The silver beads should not have this problem. However, because of the variation of hole size of each bead, some beads slide around on the bracelet, some beads stay in place. In case of leather bracelet, I do like my beads to stay in place, so I can spread them evenly on it. I ended up spend quite a while to sort out what beads to put on the bracelet.

Trollbeads leather bracelet
The pearl, the heart unique and the white bubble beads here are a snug fit,
so they stay in place nicely on the bracelet.

Some Trollbeads Choices For Men

I am loving the fact that the Trollbeads bracelet gives you a 4 strands look, it looks chunky and funky, and I definitely recommend it for men as well. It looks lovely even without any beads on and great for stacking too.

Trollbeads leather bracelet
Stack it up!

After reading this article, if you are convinced getting a Trollbeads leather bracelet for a male friend, here are some beads and locks suggestions to go with it.


  • Thor’s Hammer (11269)
  • Happy Dragon (11363)
  • Three In One (11243)
  • Smiling Cylinder (11335)
  • Water (11352)
  • Victory (11514)
  • Trefoil Knot (11447)
  • Frame (11442)
  • Ying Yang (11254)
  • Troll Coin (11607)
  • Big World (11608)
  • Big Earth (11603)


  • Freja Knot Lock (10106)
  • Elephant Lock (10113)
  • Troll Tree Lock (10114)
  • Plain Lock (10118)

Trollbeads leather bracelet     Trollbeads leather bracelet

by The Cool Apples

© 2013 The Cool Apples. All Rights Reserved.

Pandora Bangle Review (2013 Summer Release)

Pandora Bangle Review (2013 Summer Release)

In March, Pandora launched their new silver bangle in the USA. While we UK ladies are still drooling over it (the bangle will be available in the UK in June), I was lucky enough to have a kind friend in the USA get me one last month (thank you so much Diane! 🙂 ). After wearing the bangle for a few weeks, I thought I would share a review with you.

Pandora bangle 


  • Sizes – 6.7, 7.5, 8.3 (all in inches)
  • Retail Price – USD$65 (same as their silver barrel clasp bracelet), UK price assumed to be around £55)
  • The bracelet is hollow, lightweight
  • Uses metal memory – allowing the bangle to spring back to its original shape
  • Smooth with no threads
  • Availability – USA: available since March 2013; UK: June 2013

Pros And Cons


    1.  Hollow but reasonably strong – Some ladies might not like the fact that the bangle is hollow, but it does not bother me at all. I wear it every day to sleep and it still keeps in shape, without worrying it will break like their normal bracelets sometimes could (I have seen some broken Pandora bracelets).

    2.  The round shape – It feels very comfortable to wear though some ladies suggest they would prefer it to be oval shaped because it would show off the beads better when oval bangles would not turn around as much. I had a couple of oval shaped bangles in the past (non-Pandora), and they didn’t feel as comfortable as the round ones, so to me the new Pandora bangle is more preferable.

    3.  No threads, more freedom – The classic Pandora bracelets have 2 threads which need clips to make the beads stay in place. I always question the function/existence of those threads; honestly, they are a gimmick in my opinion. I prefer wearing just a few beads instead of filling the whole bracelet up and I do not mind not putting on the clips and letting the beads run around on my bracelet. However, I do need the clips to cover those 2 threads as they give the bracelet an unfinished look when they are seen. Now this new bangle allows me to wear it clip free.

Pandora bracelet and bangle together 
Bracelet and the new bangle

Of course, you can still use clips on the bangle, and putting a clip at the end of a bracelet/bangle is never a bad idea for safety sake, but I appreciate the freedom of choice (not only having a choice of “clips on” or “clips off”, but also a choice of wherever exactly you would like to put the clips on with the help of some little silicone stoppers). In fact, when I only wear a few beads on the bangle, I do not need to put a clip at the end of the bangle to prevent the beads from falling off the bracelet while putting it on. This is because the bangle stays in the round shape while a bracelet would change shape on your wrist when you are fastening it.

    4.  Looks great on its own or for stacking – Again without those 2 threads, you can wear the bangle itself without any beads for a simple look and it still looks lovely. Yet, you can stack it up with bracelets and bangles for a different look.

Pandora bangle with clips 
Put the clips anywhere!

    5.  Budget alternative for Pandora bangle lovers – Pandora carries another line called Liquid Silver which has a few bangle choices. However, the retail prices of the Liquid Silver bangles are from £80 – £175!!! Considering the new bangle will possibly be the same price as a silver barrel clasp bracelet in the UK and still looks great, so if you are a Pandora fan and also a bangle lover, this bangle is definitely for you.

    6.  It won’t stretch – Like many ladies, when I first started purchasing Pandora, I couldn’t decide what size of bracelet I should buy. When getting a Pandora bracelet, you need to take the stretching length into consideration. Pandora bracelets are generally quite stiff at the start. After wearing them for a while, they tend to stretch between 1 and 2cm. To make things even more complicated, I heard a couple of ladies saying their bracelets don’t stretch at all. I have never heard of bangles stretching, so I assume this new bangle won’t either. This should make the purchasing decision much easier!

Pandora bangle 
Looks lovely by itself!


Having worn my new bangle on a daily basis for a few weeks now, I am totally in love with it and planning to purchase more in future. However, if I am being really picky, there are a couple of teeny weeny things you might want to take note of.

    1.  When the bangle is fully loaded, it is slightly not as comfortable as the bracelet. (This doesn’t bother me at all.)

    2.  It is a bit hard to push the ‘mushroom’ bit(the end bit of the bangle) into the clasp when fastening.


I might be biased, but to me, the new bangle is an improvement of Pandora bracelet design; it ticks all the boxes which their classic bracelets don’t do for me.

I am delighted to see Pandora putting out this new bangle and looking forward to seeing some more new bracelet/bangle designs in the future, as well as new beads.

Pandora bangle 
A fully loaded bangle!

Pandora bangle 
Bangle in action!


by The Cool Apples

© 2013 The Cool Apples. All Rights Reserved.