Trollbeads Inspiration: Transition

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IMG_2063Have you felt it in your part of the world?  Here on the West coast of Canada, there’s been a subtle shift in the light these last few days.  Even until last week, I felt as though I was in the middle of an everlasting Summer.  The days were long and warm, with bocce games that stretched into the evening.  The light was bright and clear, and the skies were blindingly blue.  One day recently there was a little wind winding through the garden that played a scattering of pale, dry leaves off our dogwood tree, and suddenly I could see the first signs of Autumn.

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IMG_2053It wasn’t really the leaves on the pathway, that alerted me to the upcoming change in the seasons… there other clues as well.  There has been a shift in the angle and colour of the light that unmistakably whispers “Autumn”.  The light is still bright, but it’s just a bit more golden and mellow.  The sky is still brilliant blue, but there’s a bit of a haze in the morning and evening.  Night falls much earlier now, and after dinner we are more likely to be having a sunset stroll than struggling to spot our bocce marker in the dusk.

IMG_2060IMG_2064As always, seasonal change suggests a change in the way we dress, the colours we wear, the textures we enjoy in our homes… and of course, a change in the way we wear our Trollbeads.  I set out to design a bracelet that felt just right for this time of year, when we are still enjoying lots of Summer warmth, but are looking ahead to the Autumnal months that are just around the corner.

I began by reaching for my very favorite, aqua tones that feel like the beach glass of Summer.

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IMG_2055I blended those watery blue greens with a selection of inky blacks, most of which have an element of earthy texture or glitter.  That little touch of warmth helps to keep the feel natural and not too terribly stark.  Many of the aqua beads also have an earthy element that I enjoy… for example, the ribbon of stone texture that wraps around the “Traces” bead, or the marvellous green and stone textured unique at left.

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I was delighted to find this generously sized, black and taupe unique to place right at the heart of the bracelet.  It’s colours and pattern are the perfect inspiration to lead all the other black elements in the bracelet, and it matches the drama offered by the Emerald and Amazonite that are on either side.

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There’s a feeling right now of being in the calm before the storm.  Perhaps it’s simply because my young family will be returning to a new school year, and all the frantic scheduling that accompanies that change… but I am savouring the quiet last days of Summer.  I wanted the silvers to also reflect the mood of the season, so I looked for ones that were simple and fluid in appearance.  “Path of Life” and “Starry Night” have a near meditative calm about them, and I repeated each design twice for optimum impact without complexity.

If you are contemplating the season to come, and mulling how to update your favorite Summer design for Fall, why not drop by the gallery one day, (or drop us a note with a photo of your bracelet) and let us have a little play?  We can find a couple of inspired additions that will give a whole new twist to your bracelet and have you freshly designed for Autumn.  This is the perfect time to do so, as our “End of Summer Sale” is now on until 31 August, and you will enjoy 15% off all our Trollbeads!  Drop by and pay us a visit, or shop online using promo code friend15 to claim your discount.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Soft Wind of Change Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique “Dirty” Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Starry Night”, “Unique Glass”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Traces”, “Path of Life”, “Emerald”, “Unique Glass”, “Amazonite”, “Path of Life”, “Traces”, “Milan”, “Unique Glass”, “Starry Night”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”.

 

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Hidden Garden Bracelet

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The arrival of this stunning “Glass Trolls” made me want to create a bracelet matched its dewy and light as air mood.

With delicious shades of apple green, to golden honey, to aqua and forget-me-not blue, the dichroic glass acts as an inspiration and focal point for the whole bracelet.

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This allows me to pull together a diverse set of blues and greens that include turquoise, teal, sage, birds egg blue and even this gorgeous Emerald that takes the center position in the composition.

A pair of newer design uniques come in handy for knitting together the palette as well… these swirled glass patterns hide every shade in the bracelet, with periwinkle to teal and all shades of blue between.  I love the dimension of pattern in these glass; they invite the eye to dive right into their cerulean depths.

I find that “Tropical Travels” is a good match for the size and lush mood of this “Glass Trolls”, and I’ve added a slightly smaller “Royal” and “Ornamental Flower” to complete the set of silvers.  To me, the overall mood of this bracelet is a Summers afternoon in a rich garden.  Perhaps this verdant place is in an exotic locale, like a Florentine Palazzo’s courtyard, adorned with vines and fountains….

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Small Fish Lock” (Summer 2016 Release), “Unique Glass”, “Ancient Palace”, “Royal”, “Blue Agate”, “Florence”, “Traces”, “Glass trolls”, “Unique Glass”, “Blue Agate’, “Emerald”, “Blue Agate”, “Unique Glass”, “Tropical Travels”, “Florence”, “Blue Agate”, “Silver Mountain”, “Ornamental Flower”, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Unique Glass”.

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: The Softer Side of Coral

IMG_0497Sigh… this just says “Summer” to me…

IMG_0500Is there any colour that sings “Summer” more clearly than a rich, vibrant coral?  This delicious colour, poised neatly between red, orange and pink, is warm, exotic and downright tropical.  I’ve always adored the colour, and have often blended it with warm soft pinks for a sugary confection with just an edge of sexy.

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IMG_0501Today I mulled how to tone down this rambunctious colour to make it more wearable every day.  Choosing all beads from within Tartooful’s current stock, I found the unique glass at left, with its unusual combination of espresso, softest grey blue and dots of hot coral.  It’s the perfect inspiration for an everyday coral composition!

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IMG_0496First I found a group of glorious corals to play with… the Summer Stones 2015 series offers Matte Orange Agate, as well as polished Carnelian. The contrasting textures and range of natural, spicy tones make these designs a pleasure to work with.  Next, I tried various neutral and softer toned beads as companions…

IMG_0495The inspiration unique has a generous dose of espresso brown, so it would have been easy to select various chocolate and walnut brown elements and blend them with the corals.  Perhaps the addition of some clear or ivory beads for some punch?  I tried this approach, and it resulted in a gorgeous combination – but it felt much dressier

IMG_0499than I envisioned.  My goal was a bracelet that would be super easy to wear on a daily basis, with sun dresses, shorts and even jeans.  I started again, and this time I emphasized the soft grey blue that was also found on the unique.  “traces”, “Silver Mountain”, “Sandstone” and “Aquarium Pastel” all have that sublime, subtle blue, combined with a touch of earthy texture that make them perfect for this bracelet.

IMG_0493  Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Carnelian”, “Lucky Knot”, “Golden Cave”, “Sandstone”, “Royal”, “Orange Agate”, “Three Siblings”, “Orange Agate”, “Traces”, “Orange Agate”, “Path of Life”, “Carnelian”, “Three in one”, “Coral Bubbles” (retired), “Aquarium Pastel” (retired), “Art Deco” (retired), “Carnelian”, “Silver Mountain”.

After a bit of play, I found a balance of coral and blue, silver and glass that make my eyes happy… I would happily slip this bracelet on everyday this Summer!

C.

 

30 Day Challenge: Day 5

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20121017_TracyMArt1_01-medium-2Today I started with a yummy old “stitch” patterned unique that is a little brighter than the rest of my collection, but that I just love.  It makes my eyes happy just looking at this particular shade of blue.  It’s not quite turquoise,

IMG_9403not quite the blue of a Tiffany’s box… I affectionately call it “Beautiful Blue”.

A wonderful piece of art by Tracy McMenemy that recently arrived at the gallery features a generous dose of this blue, and it reminded me that it is really “Map Blue”.  No matter what you call it, this bead is *fun*.

IMG_9404In truth, I have very little to actually match this bead, but by adding a whole range of teals and aquas that are all in the same family tree, I can create a design that makes it feel at home.  The metallic goldstone stitching pattern on the bead gives the impression of a vibrant green, which is echoed by the olive green of beads such as Labradorite and the

IMG_9405Christmas in Australia Limited Edition.  I didn’t want to have a dark, brooding mood, but rather a light hearted feel – so I added a group of ivory coloured beads to  soften the impact of the richer colours.  Two dotted beads with Ivory backgrounds and shades of blue dots help to marry the cream and the colours together.

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IMG_9402This “Silver Mountain” was the very first Trollbead I ever had.  I picked it for myself, from the first shipment of beads ever received at Tartooful, now so many years ago.  It has found a place on most of my favorite combinations ever since, and I am still just as enthralled by it as on the very first day.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp” (retired format), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Kimono Bead”, “Unique Amber”, “Plait” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Turquoise Dot” (retired), “Limited Edition Christmas in Australia”, “Sweater” (retired), “grey Armadillo” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Labradorite”, “Traces”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Ball of Yarn”, “Blue Green Feather” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Silver Mountain”,  “Art Deco” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Light Blue Dot” (retired), “Unique Glass”.

C.

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Watercolour Pink & Green

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IMG_8568Often I find inspiration for a bracelet in the colours locked inside one tiny glass bead.  Today I was mesmerized by an exquisite, aqua and peach, water coloured unique.  The colours are so delicious, the and the shimmer of the light on the patterns simply magical.  The rest of the bracelet design came together in a flash!

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IMG_8569It used to be quite tricky to find warm toned pink glass in the Trollbeads collection, but over the past year there have been a number of lovely new additions to the production collection.  The new warm pinks, such as “Desert Flower”, “Pink Petals” and “Engraved Romance”make it easier than ever to create a pink design that glows.

IMG_8567I also utilized some of the designs that have long been favorites… “Pink Gold” and both faceted and round “Rose Quartz” help to complete this design.  To complement the aqua green tones in our unique inspiration bead, I placed a beautiful “Amazonite” at the heart of the design.  Other touches of spring green are dotted about the bracelet…

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IMG_8570I reached for one of the stars of the new Spring Collection, “Seabed”, and balanced it with “Desert Rose”,  another sparkling murano glass design on the opposite side of the bracelet.  A wonderfully budded unique gives textural interest, and seems to be echoed by the “Spiritual Adornment” nearby.  I found a delicate little iris patterned unique to balance the original inspiration unique, and completed the bracelet with a pair of prisms in perfect shades of pink and green.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Lock”, “Green Prism”, “Unique Glass”, “Desert Rose”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Engraved Romance”, “Seabed”, “Rose Quartz, round”, “Narcissus of December”, “Amazonite”, “Pink Petals”, “Spring Wave”, “Violet of February”, “Pink Gold”, “Unique”, Rose Quartz”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Seabed”, “unique”, “Pink Prism”.

C.

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Liquid Blues

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This bracelet was inspired by both the new blues of Spring 2015’s Trollbeads Collection… and also by the arrival of a pair of extraordinary uniques.

IMG_8080When designing a new bracelet, I love to blend two or three colours together to form a palette that delights the eye.  there is no better way to “gel” the entire feel of a composition than to find a few beads that include all the colours of the design.  Often, I find a gorgeous individual bead, and let the entire bracelet follow it’s lead!

IMG_8081In this case I was delighted by the two uniques that frame the “Jewel of the Sea” fish at the heart of the bracelet.  Their rich palette, crisp detailing and complementary patterns just begged to be showcased together on a bracelet.  I think these two little beads have huge potential for a collector who likes to play… they could find all sorts of

IMG_8078different applications, over all seasons.  Imagine them paired with cobalt blue and gold over the holidays, royal blue, green and white for summer, or even with some of the softer blues, such as glittering “Beach”, “Seabed” and “Fountain of Life”.  The possibilities are endless….  However, with an entire new collection to play with, and so many gorgeous new

IMG_8085ocean themed blues therein, I decided to play together a cerulean blue and aqua blend.  The luscious new blue glass, “Silver Trace, Turquoise” (shown above) is so luscious – doesn’t it seem such a natural addition to the collection that it already feels as though it must have been there all along?!

IMG_8082“Seabed” is a welcome addition as well, for those ladies who love golden murano sparkle, and long for those slightly softer tones…. “Gentle Wave” is a silver in the classic Trollbeads approach.  It feels satisfyingly heavy, and is a lovely oval shape that will balance well with “Zanzibar” or the “Cherry Blossom Bead”.

IMG_8084In the end this bracelet was very easy to play together, and I felt spoiled by the abundance of beautiful blues and soft greens I had from which to choose…

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Water Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Neverending, Sterling”, “Sea Glow”, “Heart Conch”, “Spring Wave”, “Silver Trace, Turquoise”, “Guardian of Treasures”, “Unique Glass”, “Jewel of Sea – part A”, “Amazonite”, “Jewel of Sea – Part B”, “Unique Glass”, “Mermaid Companion”, “Silver Trace, Turquoise”, “Seabed”, “Gentle Wave”, “Seabed Stripe”, “New Horizons”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”.

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Share Your Story With Us & Win…

rc-scurveARC’s collection tells a beautiful story…

rc-1Over the past few weeks we’ve been truly delighted that lots of our ladies have popped in to snap up one of the desirable and affordable “Stories of You” bracelets – with the faceted aurora bead and limited edition clasp.  It’s a lovely beginning for a brand new Trollbeads collector, or an inspiring start for a new composition in an established collection.

rc-2However, an unexpected pleasure for us has been seeing all the amazing bracelets that our ladies have been designing over the Summer, and being privileged to play with some gorgeous collections to assist in designing fresh bracelets for Fall.

rc-frontCan you tell she’s a BC girl?

rc4The bracelet we showcase today is the product of one of our design sessions with our fantastic client, RC.  Over the time she has been “Trolling” she has found some gorgeous beads, and has created a very well balanced collection, with a range of complementary colours, and huge potential for so many wonderful compositions.

rc-3It was pure pleasure to peek into her Trollbeads jewellery box and see the beautiful examples of favorite production beads, hard-to-find uniques and rare retireds.  In no time we had played together some fresh designs that will carry her into the Autumn, and made use of a few beloved beads that always seemed to challenge her.

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Now here’s the exciting part….

We want you to share your Trollbeads Stories with us… the colour stories, the design stories… Where did you find your favorites?  Are there certain beads that express moments, or bring to mind special people?

Bring us your bracelets and share your story with us at Tartooful.  We will photograph your bracelet and post it on our facebook page for our community of collectors to enjoy.  The photo with the most comments and likes will win for its owner a very special, limited edition bead!

Not able to make it in to Tartooful in person?  No problem, post your bracelet on our facebook page and you can join in too!  The contest is open starting now… (ready set go!)… and we’ll choose a winner on November 7th, 2013.

C.

 

 

 

Trollbeads Joy – New Uniques Now In Stock!

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new-uniques-4We just received an enormous, absolutely gorgeous shipment of Universal Uniques from Trollbeads Canada… so many different, hard-to-find colours and patterns, we are in heaven.

Naturally, like any good Trollie we right away began playing and building bracelets to see some of the possible combinations for the new designs… This delicate palette of softest pink and fresh green was a pleasure to play with, and simply loved the camera!

new-uniques-5Perhaps it’s because so many of these bead designs are so transparent… they allow the light to pass through and reflect off the polished silver core at the heart of each bead.  The refracted light illuminates each bead, making each one appear to glow from within.

new-uniques-3We paired the glass with iconic winter design silvers such as “Snow”, “Large Berry” and the new “Christmas Tree”.  Who says a Christmas Bracelet has to be red and green?  This warm yet icy combination would suit me just fine….

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Lock with buds”, “Universal Unique”, “Autumn Splendour”, “Universal Unique”, “Large Berry”, “Universal Unique”, “Organic Hearts”, “Universal Unique”, “Hearts Within”, “Universal Unique”, “Universal Unique”, “Snow”, “Universal Unique”, “Christmas Tree”, “Universal Unique”, “Universal Unique”.

To see all our new Universal Uniques be sure to stop by our online shop – Tartoofultoo

C.

 

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Trollbeads Inspiration: RT’s Troll Tree bracelet Update

The dramatic “Seer” bead was recently retired, so we featured it on our blog – and look where it has found a home – on RT’s amazing “Troll Tree” bracelet! (Lucky bead…)

This composition is pure RT… with unusual shades of aqua and lilac, lots of rare, retired and unique beads, and of course, a group of bold, statement silvers for even more drama.  Pictured at left is a striped unique in the perfect combination of colours…

RT favors these distinctive styles of beads: petals, or scale-like images as well as caterpillar or python patterns decorate many of her bracelets.  As these patterns are not found in the regular collection, they mark the beads as very special “Uniques”.

Even among all these amazing glass beads, the Trolltree easily steals the show.  She centred this key bead, and selected a gorgeous little Unique feather bead in an indigo and lilac colour to nestle among the branches of the tree.

The Troll Tree is traditionally used vertically on a Fantasy Necklace – but here it makes a strong and beautiful centerpiece on RT’s bracelet.  Her beads are, on the whole, quite large, and she has added not one, but two “Baby Trolls” and a “Wisdom” bead to keep the Troll Tree in scale.  “The Seer” is another large silver, so it will fit right in.  You’ll notice, however, that although RT’s silvers are large, she has used them sparingly – so the overall balance of silver to glass is appropriate.

Thank you to RT for sharing this inspiring design update with the blog!

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: RT’s Troll Tree

Here’s a first peek at a composition in progress by the incomparable RT…

She is playing with two slightly different interpretations of the the feminine and lovely colour, lavender.  Anchored by a beautiful series of unique beads, and featuring her signature big, bold silvers these bracelets are distinctly RT.

One bracelet is made up of glass on the pink side of lavender and soft grey.  Glass such as “Grandma’s Favorite” and “Whirling Adventure” pair beautifully with the sophisticated black pearls of “Triple Pearl Black” and the “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”.  The exceptionally pretty “Chalcedony” feels luminous.

Isn’t “Grandma’s Favorite” a stunning design?  I’m always astonished at how beautiful this bead is when viewed closely – try turning it on it’s side… looking at it from this unexpected angle gives it a totally new appearance.

The second bracelet is a blend of aqua and lavender, with a gorgeous “Troll Tree”  as a centerpiece.  This is an unusual choice for a bracelet, as it is easily large enough to make a dramatic pendant.  However, RT is not one to shy away from a bold statement, and as you can see, it’s a definite success.

RT pulls this delicate colour palette together with a painstakingly acquired series of uniques that incorporate both aqua and lavender.  The stripes, swirls and dots of these one of a kind beads are mesmerizing and beautiful – a gorgeous reminder of just how talented the glass artists at Trollbeads really are.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted as RT continues to create these lovely new designs … C.