Countdown to camping

December’s unseasonably warm weather prompted me to tinker with my camping bracelet in anticipation of even warmer weather when we can take our trailer out again!

My original plan incorporated a Trollbeads navy galaxy unique at the centre of the bracelet to represent the beautiful night skies that you see as soon as you move away from urban centres. The lighter streak that always runs somewhere through them reminds me of the Milky Way. It’s often visible when we’re camping and it always leaves me with a sense of awe that we are just one dot in a sea of so many. After searching unsuccessfully for a navy galaxy, I started looking at other options and came across the artisan night sky bead on Etsy. I kept that as a backup option for a month or two while I continued to search for the galaxy, then eventually decided that the artisan would do. But, it was a bit of a reluctant compromise.

While I waited for the artisan bead to arrive, I started playing with the beads that I had on hand, testing out my virtual design and trying to fill in some of the gaps. During that time, I rediscovered the orange/red bead in my bead box. It was perfect to represent the toasty campfires that are an integral part of our camping experience. When the artisan night sky arrived, it far exceeded my expectations. My reluctant compromise became a very happy decision. But, the campfire bead had already claimed the centre spot on the bracelet. And, it wasn’t co-operating with my efforts to move it anywhere else. So, once again I set out to find a Trollbeads navy galaxy bead, but this time to complement the artisan night sky bead. Recently I was lucky enough to come across one and the two night sky beads go together well, although the size difference throws me off a bit. Star Universe is another nod to those beautiful night skies.


I also wanted to represent the bright and cheery patio lanterns that adorn our trailer’s awning. Yes, they’re kitschy, but there’s something about them that really adds to the cozy feeling of our trailer. When I couldn’t find a bead that worked, I considered trying to make one myself. I played around with a few ideas of how to do a string of lanterns in a bead, but while I was contemplating how I would do it, Ohm came out with Jingle Balls. It was almost as if they had read my mind – it captured both the shape and the whimsy that I was looking for!

Another item that I wanted represented was our “trusty” GPS. We learned long ago that it’s better for us to be frustrated with an inanimate object than to be frustrated with each other, so we leave all the navigating – and wrong turns – to our GPS. It has led us astray more than once, but it eventually gets us to where we’re going. This time around I made the bead myself ;) I was tempted to try to make the bead say “Recalculating …” at the top of the screen, but thought that it would be lost in such a small space.

This bracelet was the first that I designed using a virtual bracelet board. It was slightly time-consuming to edit digital pictures to place the beads from different brands together, but also incredibly satisfying to see the virtual bracelet come together. Even more exciting was seeing the plan turn into reality!

I’m curious how the rest of it will come together. I have one more silver in mind, but don’t have set plans for what will fill in the rest of the bracelet. If I can find another navy galaxy, I may snatch it up to balance out my existing one. But, if I can’t find one, I’m not worried. I’m sure something will come to me. Sometimes the best things come from the unexpected :)


  1. Fabulous! I can’t wait to see how this ends up, yay for more made beads too, fab idea with the Sat Nav, we’ve come to the same conclusion – also we can’t hear ourselves speak in our cab so navigating my telling each other directions is a no-starter.

    I feel a weird urge to apologise every time I see someone looking for a navy galaxy as I’ve been buying up any that I find! I have quite a few now, a’hem… they range from uber tiny to normal sized, but smaller is definitely the most common. I have a couple of chunkies but mostly they are small to miniscule!

    I can’t wait for the warmer weather, it’s been icy here so no chance of getting out in the bus – thoughts are turning to getting her ready for her 1st trips of the year. Just need to find a garage I’m comfortable with first… I love your lanterns, I definitely need to get some fairy lights on ours!

    Can’t wait to hear about more trailer adventures!

    Mars xx

    1. :D I’ve passed on many navy galaxy beads, so there definitely no need to apologize! You do have a lovely collection though. And you have such a fabulous plan for them all! I didn’t realize that they came in normal sizes, I thought that all were the smaller size. It would be rather funny if I found one that was larger and therefore still had a size difference between the two! :D

      I really love our lanterns! We waited too long and were only able to pick up one string before they were sold out at the store, but we definitely need more. I just hope that they have the same style this year. This last week has been so cold that today felt like spring! I actually left my coat in my car when I was out. It was minus five celsius or so. But it felt so warm compared to the minus twenty five we’ve had all week. I hope that you have success finding a garage for your baby .. er, your bus ;)

  2. Navy galaxies saw a release in what got dubbed the “big and beautifuls” in an ironic sense, they were normal bead size with UU rather than CC. My first was a big one, I’ve got a couple now but the small and beautifuls were definitely more plenty.
    I’m cracking on with my plan and hope to be blogging the finished result at some point in the next month or so… trying to work out scheduling at the moment, I’m trying to stick to my unwritten resolution of not blogging as much so that I have time to write regularly rather than erratically!
    Mars xx

    1. Ah, I didn’t realize that they also came out with the “big and beautiful” release! :D I remember a couple of the other patterns in that release, but I must have missed that there were galaxies. Although half the time I miss things because I don’t have a particular plan for them, and then rediscover them when I finally figure out how I can use them! And then, of course, have the fun of trying to track them down.

      Usually a difference in size doesn’t bother me much, but with these two it’s really hard not to notice the difference. But when I get more beads I can rearrange again and hopefully find something where the size doesn’t matter. :)

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