Trollbeads Inspiration: Autumn Pinks


Have you begun to transition your Summer bracelets for the new season?  Even if you’re the sort of terribly organized and decisive person who creates forever bracelet designs, there’s always room for a seasonal “tweak”….


In some cases, to “winterize’ a pink bracelet design I’ve played with chocolate browns, rich cinnamon tones or greys.  They’re all great solutions, depending on what sort of pink you have to begin with.  In today’s project I’ve utilized some of the beautiful new designs from the Autumn Trollbeads collection.  They’re a subtle blend of hues, with soft buff tones, glittering copper and hints of pink, purple and blue.


They demand similarly subtle companions, and are the perfect way to create a soft pink bracelet that transitions gracefully from late Summer to Autumn.  Try layering this type of bracelet with an all amber bracelet, or a copper bangle to give it even more of an Autumnal feel.

When creating this design, I began with Fragile Purity, as I liked the way it set the palette of soft pink, with just a touch of light mossy green.  That unabashedly pretty bead is framed by two of the new collection additions, “Soul of Sunshine” and “Nature Unity”, which right away take the edge off the “pretty pink” and make the design so much more subtle and interesting!  Note the way that the pink brings out all the hints of pink, green and blue that are hiding in these fascinating beads…


This Rainbow Bridge just begged to be a part of this design.  It possesses the perfect blend of green, apricot, plum and even hints at blue around the edges.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Carolina Jessamine Clasp”, “Unique Glass”, “Freedom Feather”, “Desert Rose”, “Nature Unity”, “Pink Conch”, “Ornamental Flower”, “Unique Glass”, “Soul of Sunshine”, “Fragile Purity”, “Nature Unity”, “Unique Glass”, “Wisdom Weed”, “Rainbow Bridge”, “Blossom Shade”, “Soul of Sunshine”, “Royal”, “Unique Glass”, “Rosa Pearl”.

How do you transition your bracelets through the seasons?


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.


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.


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.


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.



30 Day Challenge: Day 25


IMG_9777Today is a bit of a seasonal conundrum… What to wear on a cool and rainy day at the end of May?  We have been blessed with an absolutely gorgeous month, with day after day of perfect sunshine and warm breezes.  I’m feeling a bit spoiled by all that perfection, and the inevitable turn to cooler weather has me a bit dazed.


IMG_9778It’s a good thing that we have a bit of drizzle again, as the gardens and forests are feeling too dry and thirsty for this time of year.  But still – what to wear?

Well, you can see the result of my morning deliberations.  I decided to go with a chocolate and lilac combination.  Lilac feels spot – on for the season…


IMG_9776The neighborhood lilacs are so fully in bloom that I can smell their amazing perfume even through the fragrance of the warm wet rain on the cedar.  I think every garden in my area must have at least one, blooming madly this week.  However, purple alone, or with cooler colours like green, blue, white or pink just wouldn’t have felt right for today.

IMG_9775  The addition of the toasty, cinnamon-y, chocolate-y browns helps to bring this lilac back down to earth for a cool and rainy West Coast day like today.  I quite like this combination, and could see myself making it up again to wear at almost any time of year.  My paler purples, in particular, tend to get the most playtime in Spring and Summer – so I’m pleased to have a new combination that will help to bring them out through the Autumn and Winter as well!


Clockwise from Clasp:  “Limited Edition Chess Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Frogs” (retired), “Elfbead”, “Golden Cave”, “Limited Edition Chinese Jade”, “Rolling Troll”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Limited Edition Faceted Aurora”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Aurora Flowers”, “Blue Desert”, “Spider”, “Unique Glass”, “Golden Cave”, “Limited Edition Violet Petals”, “Silver Bead with Garnets”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Pastel Agate”, “Unique Glass”.


30 Day Challenge: Day 22


Today I looked around for inspiration and found… Teemo!

teemoThe photo at left was taken in the garden yesterday morning. Looking at it once again, I was struck by the sweet face of our dog Teemo.  Teems has the classic “Merle” colouring of her Australian Shepherd Mom,  which means she has a dizzying pattern of freckles in shades of grey, black, walnut brown and white.  I thought that a “Merle” bracelet – or at least one with the colours of merle… would be a wonderful, neutral bracelet that I would enjoy wearing every day.


IMG_9712…But how to give it that little extra touch that says “Teemo”?  In the end I decided that the most distinctive feature of Teemo, (other than her dangerously good looks – lol) is that she is always tuned in and ready to work.  She listens constantly, trying to figure out what she can do to make her humans happy.

IMG_9713She guards us against squirrels and raccoons that might dare to tiptoe on our fence… she fetches balls for us, she does all sorts of useful tricks, she greets all the customers at the shop.  Work, Work, Work.  She is the hardest working dog in the dog biz.  So I thought that the best way to say “Teemo” with this bracelet was to exceed your expectations, and go the extra mile, making a second bracelet to pair with the first.

IMG_9718Simple silvers and a peacock pearl…

IMG_9714These two bracelets could be worn together or apart… on their own, or stacked with an armful of other modern silver pieces.  They would make a great everyday combination, which would work with practically everything I own.  Lots of my favorite beads ended up in this design, including my three Labradorites.


You can see straight away how much I wear some of these beads – look how worn my very first Labradorite is now!  It’s practically become a cabochon.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Chess Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Labradorite”, “Blue Desert”, “Brown Dot” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Spot” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “White Steel”, “Sapphire with silver core”, “Switzerland World Tour Mountain Crystal”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Shortcut” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Black Spot”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Sparrow” (retired), “Blue Desert”, “Scot Bouwens Artisan Bead”.

What a good dog, Teemo!


30 Day Challenge: Day 11


Today’s bracelet is another twist on my Pomegranates & copper colour combination – but this time instead of going light, I’ve gone dark!  Today is decadent Raspberry and rich Chocolate for a delicious bracelet.  The saturated clarets, berries and reds of this bracelet

IMG_9443could be overwhelming for me – I usually lean towards the West Coast water colour tones.  However, when I teased this combination together I was delighted to find that the addition of the deep natural browns seems to soften the impact of the cherry tones, making it much more wearable for me!  This will very definitely be back together again after the end of the challenge…


IMG_9442It all began, of course, with a Ruby.  (as so many happy Troll Tales do…) I placed it right in the middle, where it could hog the spotlight the way Rubies like to.  I framed it with a couple of interesting, muddled up browns for texture and shimmer… Hard to believe that the bead at right is an Azure Bubbles – and then just took it from there!


IMG_9441Funny thing… I like to try to imagine the artisans who make our beads… and I have an imaginary scenario that I play with in my strange brain, where some artist is slightly disgruntled about the retirement of “Brown Desert”.  After that lovely bead was retired I noticed quite a few ultra-dark examples of “Blue Desert”, as if somewhere there was a glass artist who just wouldn’t let go of the brown!  Continuing in my silly fantasy story:  perhaps after he was told to stop making deserts he decided to start making “Brown Bubbles”, and the above bead is the happy result!  Silly, I know, but it makes me happy.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp” (retired format), “Red-Pink Prism” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Bee on Hive” (retired), Scott Bouwens Artisan Glass Bead, “Unique Glass”, “Tigers Eye”, “Shortcut” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Ruby with Silver Core”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Spot” (retired), “Smoky Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Bee on Hive” (retired), Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”.


Tartooful 30 Day Challenge: Day 1


Day one of the 30 Day Design Challenge… and I am starting off with a colour combination that has been tickling the back of my brain for a little while…

day1-close2I’ve always loved colours in the aqua to teal to olive colour family… so there have always been a bunch of beads in my kit that featured those tones.  However, over the past year my little collection of olive beads seems to have expanded a little, (as does seem to happen…)… so I decided to try a whole composition!


day1-close4Of course – nothing but Olive beads all lined up in a row isn’t very interesting – no matter how pretty they each are!  These lovely warm spicy browns caught my eye, and seemed to be just dying to come out and play… so I popped them onto the play tray, too – and this bracelet came together so easily that it practically built itself.

day1-closeOne of the intriguing things about arranging all one’s beads on a tray as a colour palette is that it truly shows the colour of each of your beads.  For example, I might think of my Labradorites as teal, because their flash makes them play nicely with my warm blue-greens.  However, when arranged in neat rows by colour it becomes apparent that they really are more of an earthy green, and can easily be used as such in a design.

day1-close3It’s only day one, and already I’m a little surprised by what I see when I lay out my beads on the play tray… I always thought I had more soft pink?  Do I really have this many cinnamon browns?  Have I managed to add some good neutrals since last year?  So much to learn, and so many creative days to come!


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp – retired format”, “Small & Beautiful Unique”, “Limited Edition Kimono Bead”,  “Smoky Quartz”, “Petanque” (retired), “Azure Bubbles”, “Labradorite”, “Tigers Eye”, “Paradise Birds”, “Brown Desert”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Labradorite”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Blue Desert”, “Jugend”, “Deep Bubbles”, “Labradorite”, “Artisan Bead by Scot Bouwens”, “Etruscan” (retired), “Limited Edition Kimono Bead”, “unique”, “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”.

Have you decided to have a play too?  if so, please share them on our Facebook page, or email them to me at for posting so that we can all be inspired!  Tune in tomorrow for day 2….


Trollbeads Inspiration: Quiet Moment


IMG_8878Today’s bracelet was one that I designed at the end of a very busy and challenging week… it was in the quiet hour at the close of the day, and I was reveling in the calm of our little gallery in the middle of the bustling village.  Outside, people were rushing past in the rain, carrying groceries and hurrying to get home to cooking and family time.

IMG_8881I, however, had a few minutes to just play and then capture my calm time through the lens of my camera.

I started by picking a few key colour elements.  Rich plum, softest grey, a blush of pink, a hint of gold.  Placing those colours together on a play tray rod, they felt a little too “floaty”,

IMG_8885so I added a trio of earthy cinnamon tones to visually ground and warm the composition.   I placed the “Red Tigers Eye” at the heart of the design, right in the middle of the bracelet.  Then I placed a balanced pair of rounded, unique cherry coloured ambers on either end of the bracelet.  I chose an intentionally mismatched pair of “Blue

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 5.32.26 PMDeserts”, as they are both lovely examples of the design, and are fascinating to me in their extreme diversity.  One of the two deserts is nearly celadon green in colour, with a pinkish blush that is very interesting.  The other is a perfect slate blue with a generous dose of golden glitter and a rich coating of clear glass on top.


IMG_8879While it is the rich clarets and golds that immediately capture one’s attention in this bracelet, the “meat” of the design is really the grey neutrals.  Without those soft, quiet colours this would be a very different design.  The rich jewel tones would sing much louder, and be much more formal in their mood.  The addition of the two “Ruby Rock”, “Blue Deserts” and “Grey Prism” creates a neutral envelope which could be used with so many different jewel tones for a wearable, everyday design.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Grey Prism”, “Unique Amber”, “Black Gold”, “Gentle Waves”, “Engraved Romance”, “Ruby Rock”, “Unique”, “Transformation”, “Blue Desert”, “Red Tigers Eye”, “Blue Desert”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Third Eye Chakra”, “Ruby Rock”, “Unique”, “Heart Conch”, “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Pink Prism”.

One final thought… The pale pink feels to me as though it’s the part of this that makes it all work.  It’s only a little tiny touch of pink – two pink beads and a little blush on the pale blue desert – but it’s an essential part of what appeals to me here.  It gives the whole thing a shimmer of light and makes me smile…




What Trollbeads Am I wearing? Spicy Pink Mix


IMG_8363I love pairing my bracelets.  I don’t consciously create designs planning to wear them together, but I am always delighted by the effect of pairing various designs.  It’s a whole sub-area of composition!

Today I’m sharing a few snaps of two of my recently renovated bracelets, showing how they can play

IMG_8364nicely together…

Originally these two bracelet palettes were combined into one design that I affectionately called “Copper & Pomegranates”.  It ranged from deep crimson to lightest rose pink, with a healthy dose of sparkle and some spicy undertones.  I loved it and wore it a ton!

IMG_8362In fact, I loved those colours so very much that I slowly ended up adopting a number of similarly coloured beads that wound up being someone inappropriately sprinkled among other designs, in an attempt to justify their acquisition.  (“I want I need I must have”… don’t judge me…)  In the end I had to face facts…


IMG_8361My beloved bracelet had in fact expanded to become two.  So, I sat down and considered… I could have simply created a second, very similar “Copper & Pomegranates”, but I decided that it was much more interesting to create two quite different, complementary bracelets.  This gives me so many more options!

IMG_8365Now I can wear the two bracelets together or apart – or pair each of them with other designs for lots of new combinations.  For example, I often wear the soft pink together with my other pastel blue or green compositions for a completely different look.  The raspberry and chocolate bracelet is wonderful with other earth tones.


In the end, I’m delighted with the changes to what felt like an absolutely “sacred” composition.  I have photos, I can always restore it to its former self… but right now I am loving the new mix!


Clockwise from clasp:  “Double Lobster Clasp” (retired form), “Pink Prism”, “Silver Bead with Garnets” (retired), “Pink Desert”, “Unique Amber”, “Trollbeads Day 2014 Limited Edition”, “Artisan Stone”, “Goldstone” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Bead of Fortune part A”, “Golden Cave”, “Custom Bead by Georgina of Trollbeads Canada”, “Golden Cave”, “Bead of Fortune part B”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Kimono Bead Limited Edition”, “Anniversary Troll Limited Edition”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Tupilak” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Rosa Pearl”.


Clockwise from clasp: “Double Lobster Clasp” (retired form), “Red Pink Prism” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Sparrow” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Zanzibar” (retired), “Brown Desert” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Ruby with silver core”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, (I know – crazy, right?), “Van Gogh Netherlands World Tour Limited Edition”, “Unique Glass”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Heart”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”.




Trollbeads Inspiration: What is your Neutral?

IMG_8199“North-West Coast:  Chambray Skies, Pebbled Beaches, Giants for Trees and a Restless Slate Ocean”

Here’s an interesting thought:  What makes a colour “Neutral” to you?


IMG_8195There’s no question that our taste in colour differs greatly from one person to another… We each bring our own tastes, viewpoints and personal experiences to the conversation.  We even each see colour just a little differently – I’ve noticed many times at the work table ladies will describe the same bead in very different terms.

IMG_8198Some might see a given bead design as green, another as brown and yet another as grey.  However, I am beginning to think that where we live in the world plays a key role in our

IMG_8194experience of colour.  Every day the physical backdrop of our lives simply has to have an effect on our view of colour.  This first occurred to me when the “Rocky Beach Kit”, designed by Scot Bouwens of LaConner Washington was released by Trollbeads.  I was delighted by how well he translated our West Coast beach experience into glass.

IMG_8204The soft, warm greys, slate blues, subtle hints of lilac and cinnamon all felt just like a misty, pebbled beach to me.  However, I recall howls of outrage from Trollbeads collectors from warmer climates who couldn’t understand how anyone could think those

IMG_8207colours felt like a beach.  It certainly didn’t look anything like the beaches that they experience in their parts of the world.  Of course, they are quite right… the beaches I saw when I visited Florida, Mississippi or southern California were a pure, ethereal palette of ivory and turquoise, with hints of wispy cloud in the early

IMG_8203afternoon – very different!  It opened my eyes to how much our surroundings impact on our sense of colour.  Is it possible that draw our concept of “Neutral” from our surroundings?


IMG_8208The Prairies:  Sun Bleached Fields of Grain and a Sky that Stretches Forever.

Is Khaki more likely to be a neutral if you live in a desert climate, and a golden sandy tone if you are from the Plains?  Are you drawn to a weathered grey if you are used to seeing cedar fences, and rust if you experience the Autumnal Maple Colour of the Maritimes?

IMG_8216The Maritimes:  Crisp Clapboard houses, Autumn Colour & The Rich Blue of the Atlantic.

IMG_8214Perhaps in a more urbanized environment you relate more to the building materials at hand:  creamy sandstone in Paris and warm brownstone in New York?

A Trollbeads collector from Calgary who recently visited Tartooful commented that she was very drawn to clear, cerulean blue, and it made

IMG_8212me wonder if it was a shade that was drawn from her Prairie environment… The light is so different there than in my misty part of the world.  There’s a clarity that we lack, and even in the long winter, the days are much brighter.  Those huge, clear blue Prairie skies cannot help but influence those who are lucky enough to enjoy their beauty.


The Maritime Bracelet… Clockwise from Clasp:  “Snall Flower Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “White Paper Fold”, “Unique Amber”, “New Horizons”, “Unique Glass”, “Conch”, “Red Tigers Eye”, “Violet of February”, “Beach”, “Unique Glass”, “Fountain of Life”, “Ocean”, “Golden Thread”, “Nougat Flower”, “Unique Glass”, “Compass”, “Amber”, “Cream Armadillo”, “Unique Glass”.


The Prairie Bracelet… Clockwise from Clasp:  “Large Flower Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Silver Trace, Turquoise”, “Rose”, “Dewdrops”, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Khaki Stripe”, “Dandelions”, “Aqua Edge Pumpkin”, “The Diamond Bead, Ice Blue”, “Aqua Edge Pumpkin”, “Angels feathers”, “Khaki Stripe”, “Sea Glow”, “Dewdrops”, “Mom’s Bouquet”, “Ancient Palace”, “Lucky Clover”.


The North-West Coast Bracelet… Clockwise from Clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Unique”, “Autumn Dangle” (retired), “Magical Lamp”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Stone Flower”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Rolling Troll”, “Blue Desert”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Sandstone”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Silver Mountain”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Blue Desert”, “Four Frogs, Big”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Sand Beach”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Transformation”, “Magical Lamp”, “Organic Bubbles”.

What do you think – what is your “Neutral” and why do you think it speaks to you?



Trollbeads Inspiration: Beautiful Words

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 4.09.39 PM

IMG_6977Every day it seems as though our kids are a little taller, a little bigger, a little bit more grown up.  It’s hard to see them leaving childhood behind, and acquiring adult problems and responsibilities… (My eldest is taller than me, now!)  On the other hand it makes me proud and happy to know them as the lovely people they are becoming.

IMG_6979One of the wonderful parts of having older children is sharing favorite films and books as they are ready for them… For example I had a most enjoyable evening recently watching “the Life Aquatic” with a couple of the kids.  I saw it and was enchanted by it years ago, but experienced it with fresh eyes as they saw it for the first time.


IMG_6973Another recent pleasure was re-reading My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.  This beautifully written, charming and hilarious book was a favorite of mine when I was around ten.  Now it’s a title I can share with the children, and I am experiencing it with a completely different perspective.  For those of you who have not enjoyed

IMG_6974this author’s works, he was a British naturalist and author with a gift for humorous narrative, and the ability to paint exquisite images with his words.  The following is an excerpt from My Family and Other Animals.  This passage is early in the book, and it describes Mr Durrel’s first impression of Corfu, Greece, as he arrived there as a small child.

IMG_6976“The sea lifted smooth blue muscles of wave as it stirred in the dawn-light, and the foam of our wake spread gently behind us like a white peacock’s tail, glinting with bubbles.  The sky was pale and stained with yellow at the

IMG_6975eastern horizon.  Ahead lay a chocolate-brown smudge of land, huddled in mist, with a frill of foam at its base.  This was Corfu, and we strained our eyes to make out the exact shapes of the mountains, to discover valleys. peaks, ravines, and beaches, but it remained a silhouette.  Then suddenly the sun shifted over the horizon, and the sky turned the smooth enameled blue of a jay’s eye.”


Breathtaking, isn’t it?  It draws such a clear and compelling picture for my mind’s eye – even though my little Trollbeads shop in North Vancouver is a long way from Corfu, this passage take me right there, to the deck of that ship at dawn.  I feel lucky to have read beautiful words like these at an impressionable age.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Spiritual Temple Lock”, “Unique”, “Magical Lamp”, “Nomad”, “Traces”, “Milan”, “Unique”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Silver Mountain”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Silver Mountain”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Unique”, “Khaki Stripe”, “Ancient Palace”, “Royal”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique”.