Labradorite Inspired

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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 Challenge Day 12

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Today it’s all about “Aurora”.  There are a handful of regular collection and limited edition beads that are unmistakably “Aurora”, and until fairly recently I thought we had to be content with this narrow selection of designs.  However, lately I have noticed quite a few unique designs which feature that distinctive, hazy shimmer.

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For the most part, these beads display a more subtle version of the Aurora effect, which has opened up new design options for me.  I find now I can combine my softer Azure Bubbles with paler traditional Aurora designs and the new subtle uniques for a fresh look.  Add a hint of dichroic glass and a couple of luminous stones and it’s a complete design.

IMG_1781The pair of stones that I have employed in this design are the smooth, retired form of “Chalcedony” and a treasured, very translucent “Dendritic Agate”.  I’ve had the Chalcedony for many years, but the Dendritic Agate is a very recent addition.  I came across it  just before the Challenge began, so it managed to slip into the collection just in time.  Dendritic Agate is a variety of Chalcedony Quartz, and is often found with deposits of other types of Chalcedony.  This relationship is easy to see in a translucent example such as this, where the two stones are nearly identical, save for a few traces of Dendritic Agate’s distinctive fern textural markings.  Imagine how difficult it must be for stone cutters to predict how to cut and facet these stones to best display their hidden branchlike patterns… years of experience and well honed instincts must be required!

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These Azure bubbles play nicely with others…

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C.

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: A walk in the Forest

 

 

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IMG_0945Today I enjoyed a day of mid winter brilliant sunshine here at Tartooful… We went for our morning trail walk along the creek close to our home, and the combination of pure blue sky and rich green forest was absolutely magical!  It’s been a wonderful experience to get to know the forest in an intimate way over the past six months, as we have walked the same trail over and over through the changing of the seasons.  When we started our daily trail walks it was the height of Summer, with warm, dawns that broke at five in the morning.

IMG_0947The midsummer forest was lush and brilliant emerald green, with soft leaves filling the branches of the birch that line the creek.  The trail was dusty and stayed on my skin and in my nostrils long after we had gone on with the rest of our day.  Over the weeks my feet came to know every rock, and every turn of the trail.  Just when I thought I had it’s path fully memorized the season began to turn to Autumn and it became a completely different place again.  With the arrival of the rains the paths first became hard and wet… then became sodden in low places and occasionally even became little creeks!

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IMG_0946When the leaves first started to fall it felt strange, how messy, and brown our little stretch of forest was becoming… but then the light began to change and the beauty of the Autumnal forest became more clear.  With every leaf that dropped, the floor of the forest became a little more brightly illuminated, and little treasures became visible in every nook and cranny.  Fall blooming crocus peeked through here, a patch of brilliant yellow mushrooms there… even the slugs seemed taken aback by the sudden bright light!

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Now we’re in the depths of Winter, and we’ve seen frosty mornings, where icicles decorate the edges of the branches that dip into the creek, and the steps of the path glitter in the sun like diamonds.  This morning the sun came through the bare branches of the birch in beautiful white shafts, playing fascinating shadows on the graveled path.  I can’t wait to see the next six months as all the plants begin to wake up and unfurl their foliage once again.  It’s hard to believe that in only a few short weeks we’ll once again be in the green light of the canopy of leaves!

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Lace Lock”, “Glass Unique”, “Aqua Edge Pumpkin”(retired), “Christmas Rose”, “Glass Unique”, “Blue Green Feather” (retired), “Ancient Palace’, “Etruscan” (retired), “Organic Bubbles” (retired), “Dream Away”, “Dew Drops” (retired), “Wisdom”, “Aqua Edge Triangles” (retired), “Dream Away”, “Zanzibar” (retired). “White Cap”, “Aqua Edge Petals” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Royal”, “Aqua Edge Pumpkin” (retired), “Unique Glass”.  (All beads currently in stock at Tartooful.)

C.

 

 

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Dream Away

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IMG_0866Today I’m playing with “Beautiful Blue”.  This hard-to-describe shade of blue is one that appears in a number of unexpected spots in the Trollbeads collection.  You’ll find it, peeking out from among the sandy speckles of “Milan”… or hiding right at the edge of the light stripes in “Khaki Stripe”.  There’s even a hint of it in the petals of “Flowers on Indigo”.

IMG_0867Two of the most delicious bead designs from the Autumn 2015 collection also feature this “Beautiful Blue”.  “Dream Away”, with its distinctive raised and textured glass dots is an intstant scene stealer of a bead… Often oversized, it  demands the spotlight, and we find ourselves centering it an many bracelet designs.  Here I’ve given the center spot to a lovely “Blue Tigers Eye” and

IMG_0869gave it further emphasis by framing it with a pair of “Lotus Tops” and then a pair of “Dream Away”.  It makes for a strong, symmetrical heart for the bracelet design, and firmly sets the colour palette.  Next the challenge was to find more “Beautiful Blue” to build out the rest of the composition.  I reached for “Black Flower Mosiac”, and the new “Pure Heart”.

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Additional hits of blue are provided by “Traces” and “Ancient Palace”, while navy to black grounding is given by “Black Silk” and an exceptionally deep “Azure Bubbles”.

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“Pure Heart” was the first bead from the Autumn Collection to find its way onto my personal bracelets, simply for its uncanny ability to play with “Milan” and “Black Flower Mosaic”, two very beloved patterns.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Lock”, “Pure Heart”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Rolling Waves”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Traces”, “Khaki Stripe”, “Compass”, “Dream Away”, “Lotus Top”, “Blue Tigers Eye”, “Lotus Top”, “Dream Away”, “Hong Kong Junk – Limited Edition”, “Milan”, “Ancient Palace”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Sea Urchin”, “Black Silk”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Purity”.

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Finally, when selecting the silvers for this design I imagined a little story… a sailing trip across a moonlit sea, with ripples of “Beautiful Blue” dappling the surface of the water as the little shop bobs along… so you’ll find a tiny boat, waves and even a compass to guide your way.

C.

 

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Dreamy

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IMG_0700Today I once again went searching for a little colour inspiration in the beutifully illustrated pages of the Trollbeads book “Trollbeads: An Icon in Jewellery Design”.  Of course I found a great many images with wonderful palettes to consider, but in the meditative mood of the quiet gallery today I was attracted to one that

IMG_0704featured a patch of Black Mondo Grass.  The light surrounding the inky grasses is misty and blue in hue, a delicate palette into which I couldn’t wait to dive.

I started with a stunning “Blue Desert” that is a dark slate blue, with an area on one side that lightens to a subtly transparent claret.  The generous dose of glitter in this bead helps to further warm the overall look.

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IMG_0705This is currently a tricky bead to partner, (although when the Autumn Collection launches it will find lots of beautiful companions), but I placed it opposite the “Flowers on Indigo” as it also has that delicious combination of deep sapphire and claret.

IMG_0698To ensure that the mood of the bracelet stayed light and airy I added multiple dots of white:  a “Denritic Agate” that is nearly pure white, one of the Summer Stones “Howlite”s, a couple of wonderfully shimmering “Dichroic Ice”, and of course a “Diamond Bead, White”.  The Two faceted “Chalcedony” further add to the light, glowing look of the design.

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IMG_0703I love the way the light plays in this particular Azure Bubbles – it has taken me great restraint not to add it to my own personal collection!  I find it fascinating that in some lights I can see a clear layer of amber glass, yet when I look directly at the surface of the bead, it’s not green at all.  It’s a wonderful example of why I always Look at a bead sideways, and into the light….

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Clasp”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Chelcedony”, “Silver Whorl”, Diamond Bead, White”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Howlite”, “Blue Desert”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Chalcedony”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Angels Feathers”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Grey Prism”.

All beads used for design currently in stock at Tartooful.  tartooful@gmail.com 604-924-0122.

C.

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Inky Azures

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IMG_0620A new wave of Azure Bubbles arrived recently at the gallery, and we fell in love with this changeable beauty of a bead all over again.  This grouping of glass are all deep, inky blues with a host of micro bubbles in each one.  The usual large bubbles are still there, but in the layer below that there is a subtle, milky way swath of the tiniest of bubbles.

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IMG_0618They look almost like the silver dots in group two glass “Milky Way” – but even smaller.  It’s fascinating stuff!  For those of us who have a mild obsession with this particular pattern of bead, it represents an entire new are of collecting to be done.  Some of them are almost chocolate in colour, with just a hint of blue that shows when the light reflects off the core.

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IMG_0617Others are a more slate blue, still others are a deep violet with subtle ribbons of indigo.  My favorites are those that have a hint of green in the blue, with lots of micro bubbles, and a flash of burgundy as the light hits them.  Gorgeous!

These new Azures are bang on for Autumn colour trends, and will be

 

IMG_0621phenomenal paired with rich clarets – think Rubies, cherry ambers or the upcoming Hessonite Garnet!  Today I’ve chosen a spectacular group of unique ambers that sparkle and glow in the sunlight.  They make a perfect foil for the deep navies of the Azures.

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This bracelet was a cinch to play together… the Azures and Ambers work together effortlessly and with the addition of a few bolder silvers and a handful of Scot Bouwens’ beautifully organic glass – voila!

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Azure Bubble”, “Magical Lamp”, “Paradise Birds” (retired), “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Amber”, “Stone Flower”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Amber”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Unique Amber”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Silver Ornament”, “Cliffs”, “Unique Amber”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Jugend”, “Magical Lamp”, “Azure Bubbles”.

All beads currently in stock at Tartooful. – tartooful@gmail.com 604.924.0122

C.

 

 

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Midsummer Evening

IMG_0556dreamy, glowing and iridescent…

IMG_0550… this bracelet is inspired by the hazy, dreamy evenings of midsummer.  As hot days ease into warm nights, the sky slowly turns into the most perfect shade of luminous, periwinkle blue.  There’s a few magical minutes when the growing dusk is palpable, and we love to scan the sky, looking for the first few stars to appear.

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IMG_0554When I composed this bracelet I first reached for beads that glowed with iridescence… then added more beads in all the colours of their shimmer.  The result is a complex and unexpected combination of indigo blues, teal greens and lilac purples.

I adore colours that are tricky to describe, that

IMG_0552hover subtly between clear shades – and this bracelet is full of blues that defy description.  “Wave of Dreams” is always wonderfully complex with myriad tones in its depths.  This example is no exception, and displays a wonderful range of blues from aqua to nearly navy.  Thanks to this bead, I was able to include blues of

IMG_0553 various shades – including some very denim-y Small & Beautiful uniques and the more periwinkle toned “Fountain of Life”.  This range of blues is similarly displayed in the violet blossoms in “Flowers on Indigo”, as well as the very blue “Black Flower Mosaic” and the lovely unique nestled next to the silver & dichroic “Trinity”.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Dragon Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Trinity”, “Aurora Flower”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Fountain of Life”, “Scarab”, “Scarab”, “Green Jasper”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Limited Edition Green Agate”, “Scarab”, “Moonlight Bubbles”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Unique Glass”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Blue Green Feather” (retired), “Unique Glass’.

Happy Summer…

C

Trollbeads Inspiration: A different light

IMG_0517Aquarium Pastel Takes on a Whole Different Look

IMG_0515In today’s bracelet I play with the same Aquarium Pastel bead that was recently featured on a coral bracelet.  However, today’s bracelet has a completely different look than that one… today my goal was to show how various contexts and  compositions can dramatically change one’s perception of a given bead design.

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IMG_0514As I mentioned in the previous entry, I shied away from Aquarium pastel in the past, as I wasn’t enamoured of the idea of a chocolate and turquoise combination.  Over time that colour combination has actually grown on me, but in the meanwhile I found other ways to feature this fascinating bead.  Birds’ egg blue and coral offers one beautiful setting for this bead, but so does today’s even more subtle combination.

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IMG_0513I resisted the temptation to add lots of warm, terracotta  touches to this composition. Instead I decided to keep it cool with lots of icy blue, nearly black browns, and hints of mossy green.  I selected knot work patterned silvers that are minimalist and simple in order to maintain a wonderfully calm look for this understated bracelet.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp”, “Grey Prism”, “Sandstone”, “Unique Glass”, “Three in One”, “Unique Glass”, “Silver Mountain”, “Labradorite”, “Path of Life”, “Milan”, “Traces”, “Cliffs”, “Three Siblings”, “Unique Glass”, “Aquarium Pastel”, “Limited Edition Christmas in Hawaii Glass”, “Lucky Knot”, “Grey Wolf”, “Ancient Palace”, “Unique Glass”.

Beads taken from in-stock Tartooful stock.

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.