At Tartooful, there’s nothing that we love better than throwing a party…
…and there’s no better excuse than a big, beautiful shipment of unique glass beads and the most exciting carved amber designs that we have ever been privileged to see.
These are some absolutely drop-dead beautiful beads, and any one of them would instantly be the jewel of most collections. We are thrilled to be able to present them to you! This alone would be cause for celebration, but add to that a menu of classic trunk-show specials, and it becomes spectacular.
The fine print:
Purchase one item, get the fourth item of equal or lesser value as our gift
Purchase a decorative lock and receive the sterling bracelet chain as our gift
Every purchaser is entered into a draw to win a coveted 40th anniversary jewellery box.
Our event kicks off Oct 17th and runs until Oct 23rd, so we are looking forward to catching up with all of you in the Village! Not in our neck of the woods? No worries. We will be posting our unique beads on our Facebook page, where they may be easily browsed, even if you don’t have a Facebook account. For regular collection orders, be sure to check into our online shop, and simply let us know in a note what item you’d like for your fourth item free. We are also happy to work with you via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a ring at 604-924-0122 for a friendly consultation by phone.
So… dust off those wishlists, bring us your partly completed projects and get ready to be inspired!
This afternoon I’m sitting in a ray of sunshine at my desk at Tartooful… and I am craving a cup of classic Earl Grey Tea and a traditional lemon tart…. Do you know the kind I mean? It would have a home made butter crust, with little fork marks around the slightly imperfect edge. It would be made with free range, happy-chicken eggs with deep, rich eggs yolks… and the lemon curd would be that same, ridiculously beautiful shade of yellow.
…Not too much sugar, but just enough to take the edge off the tart, citrus flavour of the fruit. That kind of lemon tart is so satisfying. It scratches every sort of snacking itch… buttery, flaked, baked, sweet and sour pure afternoon sugar fix. No matter how delicious, I could only ever eat one of these decadent treasures.
The Earl Grey tea, with its subtle hint of Bergamot, is an essential element, necessary to bring a little balance to the afternoon treat. The tea cuts the tart, firmly forbidding it from becoming cloying. Sipping from the hot cup demands that one slowly savour the whole experience.
Sigh…. are you there with me? It’s time for afternoon tea.
Clockwise from clasp: “Golden Flower Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Silver MOuntain”, “Water”, “Unique Glass”, “Labradorite”, “Unique Amber”, “Smile of Stars”, “Unique Glass”, “Neptune’s Promise”, “Unique Amber”, “Neptune’s Promise”, “Unique Glass”, “Smile of Stars”, “Unique Amber”, “Labradorite”, “Unique Glass”, “Neverending”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”.
Well. Here we are at Day 14, and the end of this year’s fast and furious Trollbeads Challenge at Tartooful. Normally I’d be just getting warmed up, with many days left to explore all the facets of my collection, but this year we shortened the challenge to encourage more of you to take the plunge and join in. Like every year, I feel as though I really am just getting started. Every day that I perform the ritual of creating a fresh design, I have more and more ideas for future designs. Like every year, I have ended the Challenge with more unexplored inspiration than when I began.
I’d like to thank so many of you for your support and participation. Having all of you playing along with me each day gives me a real sense of the extraordinary community of Trollbeads collectors that I’m privileged to know, both in the gallery and online. I’ve been delighted and inspired by so many of your creative and beautiful designs. Your daily encouragement and kind words for both my designs and the compositions of other collectors brings an element of joy to this exercise that goes far beyond the pure aesthetics of our designs. Thank you, my friends….
On countless occasions I’ve explained Trollbeads to neophytes as “Like Lego for Ladies”. In other words, Trollbeads are cleverly designed components that can be built and rebuilt as many times as you like, in endless combinations. To emphasize the versatility of Trollbeads, I’ve chosen to finish the Challenge by creating a “convertible” design that can easily be worn as either a bracelet or necklace. For this design you’ll need three bracelet chains, with two of them the same length. You’ll also need two decorative locks that are similar in form. They don’t have to be identical, here I’ve chosen two one-piece locks with different patterns. You’ll also need a third lock to close the necklace at the back of the neck. Place a simple but elegant group of beads, and center them on a bracelet chain with a pair of stoppers. On the other two bracelet chains add a handful of beads that are twins, so on each bracelet are a very similar group of beads, in the same order. connect these two chains to the bottom one with the centered grouping using the matched pair of locks, and voila! A necklace. Remove the center portion, and it can be worn alone as a bracelet.
There are endless variations on this – filling all the chains with beads, using a leather for the back of the neck and so on… but the basic concept that you can create a necklace – by combining your various Trollbeads components remains the same.
In the end, Trollbeads is simply a creative toolbox to design whatever jewellery you wish… and it just begs for play!
Thanks for playing along with me!
Some spectacular Trollbeads amber uniques arrived at Tartooful this week, and I couldn’t wait to sit down and play together a delicious golden concoction purely of these beautiful beads. With such a wide array of colours, sizes, shapes, textures and finishes, these beads offer a complete palette with which it is a pleasure to design.
As it says in the book: “The Trollbeads with amber, hardened tree resin, tell a fantastic story. Between 30 and 50 million years ago,
resin flowed from prehistoric coniferous trees across an area ranging from the Ural mountains in the East to the massive Swedish forests in the West. The resin dropped to the forest floor, where it lay for several millions of years, hardening to amber, often with an insect or a tiny plant fragment inside it.
Later, rivers and ice flows spread the amber far and wide. Today amber washes up on beaches all over the globe. Thousands of pieces of amber jewellery have been found in Denmark’s heaths and moorlands. Danish Iron Age tombs have revealed that beads of amber and glass were often combined to make elegant necklaces for prominent women of the period.”
I can’t sign off without mentioning that these ambers *feel* fantastic to wear… they are so light and warm, even though they are generously sized. They click together in a satisfying way, and shimmer and glitter in the sunshine!
All beads in today’s post currently in stock at Tartooful.
Have you ever come across Icelandic Poppies? They are charming little flowers, a subtle and delicate variety of the Papaver family. They grow best in sub polar, boral regions and originally grew in Asia and Europe – but not Iceland. They naturally occur in shades of white and buttery yellow, but varieties have been developed in a gorgeous, juicy array of
colours that include every shade of orange, pink and coral. Despite the tropical feel of they colours available, they have no taste for heat, preferring gentle climates with cool winters and mild Summers. They are a short lived perennial which will last longest in the garden if your Summers are cool. Some people simply grown them as biennals, making the assumption that they will last about that long.
I’ve always loved these delicate little flowers, and in past years, when I have had them in the garden, I’ve often picked them to enjoy in vases. They are such paper thin, transparent flowers that one would think that they’d wilt immediately – but unlike most poppies they do quite well, happily lasting several days.
Today’s confection of delicate, transparent colours such as coral, buttery yellow and pink is inspired by these lovely flowers…
“Dragon Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Baltic Gold”, “Unique Glass”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Pebbles”, “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Orange Agate”, “Scarab”, “Limited Edition Carnelian”, “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Carnelian”, “Scarab”, “Limited Edition Orange Agate”, “Unique Glass”, “Coral Bubbles”(retired), “Art Deco” (retired), “Golden Cave”, “Unique Glass”, “Copper Bead”.
All beads taken from current Tartooful stock.
Today I created a bracelet that makes my eyes deliriously happy!
This composition utilizes beads that used to be on several different bracelets, in completely different colour combinations… and a month ago I never would have thought to put them all together in this way. I’ve helped in the design of dozens of rich purple and golden toned bracelets, but somehow, the shimmery, iridescent tones of this
combination feel fresh to me. This bracelet includes some beads that I’ve had for ages, and others that are very new to me. Perhaps part of the reason that I couldn’t imagine this particular composition before, is simply because I didn’t have just the right beads to tie it all together. It’s a good reminder that as one adds pieces to one’s collection, it’s worth stopping to review the possibilities, and see if new, even more exciting compositions can emerge.
My silvers usually serve mostly to divide chunks of colour. However, in this case my silvers with Dichroic Glass accents – “Trinity”, “Carved Flowers”, “Dichroic Flower Lock” and “King & Queen” – are a critical part of this bracelet. They help to firmly set the shimmering mood for this design.
Clockwise from clasp: “Dichroic Flower Clasp”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Trinity”, “Limited Edition Faceted Aurora”, “Unique Amber”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Carved Flowers”, “Aurora Flower”, “Golden Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Azure Bubbles”, “King & Queen”, “Issey” (retired), “Elfbead”, “Unique Amber”, “Van Gogh – Limited Edition Netherlands World Tour”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Family of Mushrooms – Limited Edition World Tour Lithuania”, “Unique Glass”.
Yesterday when I was looking at the old photo of my original collection of Trollbeads, I couldn’t help but notice that all the beads that had shuffled out of my collection early on… were shades of green! I shouldn’t really have been surprised, as I’ve so often created a composition with green – only to re-do it sometime during the day to remove
The breakthrough came during the original 30 day challenge, two years ago. By the end of that month I had realized how very useful golden yellows were as complementary tones and neutrals.
I’ve never thought of myself as a yellow person, even had an aversion to it… but there is no doubt that the golden yellows of Trollbeads… murano glass, natural stone… amber… somehow those yellows are different. These colour elements enhance blues, greens, purples, reds, pinks, even whites. In this case I’ve created a framework of golden yellow to hold a handful of greens that delight me – in limited quantities.
The whole design is inspired by the distinctive central bead, a clear golden glass with an aqua green flower floating in its depths.
Clockwise from clasp: “Double Lobster Clasp” (retired format), “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Bead of Fortune”, “Unique Amber”, “Blue Desert”, “Unique Amber”, “Trollbeads Day 2014 Limited Edition”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Two Trolls – Limited Edition”, “Golden Quartz”, “Limited Edition Chinese Jade”, “Unique Amber”, “Neither Fish Nor Troll”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”.
Today I came across an old photo of my very first few Trollbeads… A couple of beads that are in the photo are no longer in my collection – someone must have fallen in love with them along the way – but most of them are still in regular rotation.
My Very first bead was this “Silver Mountain”. I remember that it mesmerized me immediately, and there was no way I could resist its charms. With its’ unique blend of earthy texture, palest aqua blue, and shimmering silver – it was a visual feast. I still adore it, and find a place for it on so many of my daily bracelet compositions.
I decided to design a bracelet using my original beads as much as possible, and complete the design in a similar aesthetic with more recent acquisitions. The photo at left shows my first silver, a Heart that was selected for me by my then-sweetheart-now-husband, Greg. It’s satisfying simplicity works nicely with my next choice
of silver, the now retired “Sparrow”. As soon as I saw this sweet-faced, chubby little bird I knew I had to add it to my bracelet in memory of my Mother. She loved to sit at her comfortable kitchen table and look out over her bird filled garden. She waged a hilarious battle with the fat squirrels who liked to raid her well stocked feeders.
Of course, I wanted my bracelet to not only reflect the ones I loved, but also a little of my own essence as well. I’ve always identified with the Bee as a personal symbol…. Bees are busy, useful, little creatures that spend all their time working in our gardens to take care of their family, making good things from of little bits of plant that we barely even notice. I’d like to be more like a bee! I chose a now-retired “Bee on Hive” to remind me of my core values…
Clockwise from clasp: “Sterling Double Lobster Lock” (retired format), “Peacock Pearl”, “Light Blue Dot”, “Unique Glass”, “Petanque” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Sparrow”, “Unique Glass”, “Labradorite”, “Artisan Stone”, “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Silver Mountain”, “Labradorite”, “Unique Glass”, “Heart”, “Unique Amber”, “Van Gogh – World Tour Netherlands”, “Light Blue Shadow” (retired), “Brown Dot” (retired), “Rosa Pearl”.
It’s hard to believe that my earliest beads and I have been together on this Trollbeads Journey for seven years, now… goodness where has the time gone?!
I was so pleased with yesterday’s bracelet, I’ve let it go to my head! I decided to dive in and give it another whirl, this time playing only with my amber beads… which to my surprise, now number enough beads for an entire bracelet. (That is becoming sort of the theme of this year’s challenge – “Whaaat? I have this many of these?”)
In order to create a bracelet that satisfied my need for pattern and balance, I sorted my ambers more or less into pairs by colour, size and clarity. Then I centred a favorite, barrel shaped alabaster amber and worked my way out, trying to make a pattern and maintain balance as I went. The completely random bracelet is still beyond me – perhaps this year that should be the ultimate challenge for me!
I find the warm and natural tones of the amber to be very calm and soothing – so I thought I would indulge in some more richly patterned silvers whose busier designs could sing in contrast and harmony. I placed the Anniversary Bracelet “Two Trolls” and the “2014 Trollbeads Day Trolls” opposite each other for additional emphasis.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that I am once again surprised by how much I like the tactile feel of this bracelet – it’s shockingly light! It feels completely different from my usual, much heavier compositions of glass and silver, with only the occasional amber. Now I think I would love to work towards a full necklace of these beauties…
Clockwise from clasp: “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp” (retired format), All beads amber! Silvers as follows: “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Limited Edition Two Trolls”, “Zanzibar”, “Zanzibar”, “Trollbeads Day 2014”, “Bee on Hive”.