Merry Christmas to All… and to All a Good Night

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A Visit from St. Nicholas

2‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
5Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
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3But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
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Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Merry Christmas!

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“The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus” By Ogden Nash

In Baltimore there lived a boy.
He wasn’t anybody’s joy.
Although his name was Jabez Dawes,
His character was full of flaws.

In school he never led his classes,
He hid old ladies’ reading glasses,
His mouth was open when he chewed,
And elbows to the table glued.
He stole the milk of hungry kittens,
And walked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.
He said he acted thus because
There wasn’t any Santa Claus.

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Another trick that tickled Jabez
Was crying ‘Boo’ at little babies.
He brushed his teeth, they said in town,
Sideways instead of up and down.
Yet people pardoned every sin,
And viewed his antics with a grin,
Till they were told by Jabez Dawes,
‘There isn’t any Santa Claus!’

Deploring how he did behave,
His parents swiftly sought their grave.
They hurried through the portals pearly,
And Jabez left the funeral early.

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Like whooping cough, from child to child,
He sped to spread the rumor wild:
‘Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes
There isn’t any Santa Claus!’
Slunk like a weasel of a marten
Through nursery and kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot,
‘There isn’t any, no there’s not!’

The children wept all Christmas eve
And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
No infant dared hang up his stocking
For fear of Jabez’ ribald mocking.

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He sprawled on his untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in his head,
When presently with scalp-a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant jingling;
He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.
What good to rise and bar the door?
A shower of soot was on the floor.

What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon his knees
With cries of ‘Don’t,’ and ‘Pretty Please.’
He howled, ‘I don’t know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!’
‘Jabez’ replied the angry saint,
‘It isn’t I, it’s you that ain’t.

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Said Jabez then with impudent vim,
‘Oh, yes there is, and I am him!
Your magic don’t scare me, it doesn’t’
And suddenly he found he wasn’t!
From grimy feet to grimy locks,
Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
An ugly toy with springs unsprung,
Forever sticking out his tongue.

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The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
They searched for him, but not with zeal.
No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,
Which led to thunderous applause,
And people drank a loving cup
And went and hung their stockings up.

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All you who sneer at Santa Claus,
Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who mocked the saint.
Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint.

Merry Christmas, One and All!

C.

 

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Rich Teal

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IMG_7898Here’s a rich bracelet composition for the holiday season that feels festive enough to wear with your favorite little black dress, but simple enough to enjoy while schlepping about town in sweater and jeans.  The soft teal and deep mossy green are natural neutrals for us here on the coast.  We are are surrounded by every

IMG_7897possible shade of green all year round here and in a real way, it forms the backdrop for our life.  Perhaps it’s for this reason that I see myself wearing this bracelet with practically any colour, from clean blacks, greys or whites to pink, purple, blue, yellow and so on.  There are so many lovely beads on this bracelet, but the Golden Quartz surely steals the scene!

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IMG_7900The Golden Quartz is so rich, so golden, so bright and so sparkly… it really is an exceptional example.  In this design I’ve paired it with a juicy, maple syrup toned unique amber that contains a few fascinating flecks that sparkle nicely in the light.

IMG_7895As green can be such a basic neutral for me, I wanted to give this bracelet design a little extra grandeur, and so selected silvers that offer lots of drama.  The new Spiritual collection for Autumn 2014 offers a gorgeous pair of silvers that fit the bill.  “Spiritual Ornament” and “Spiritual Adornment” are very similar in  size, and complementary in design, which makes them a popular choice to be used in tandem.

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IMG_7899In addition, the gesture of using a pair “Lotus Top” to frame the central “Green Jasper” adds a touch of formality to the central core composition.  Aren’t the matched pair of teal and gold glitter uniques perfectly delightful?  They make me happy, just looking at them.  Finally, The simple, deep purple unique at left beautifully echoes the glitter theme.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Bow Lock”, “Unique Black Amber”, “Unique Swirl”, “Unique Black-Purple Glitter Flower”, “Snowballs”, “Oasis”, “Unique Maple Syrup Amber”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Unique Teal Glitter Floral”, “Lotus Top”, “Green Jasper”, “Lotus Top”, “Unique Teal Glitter Floral”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Golden Quartz”, “Mist Bubbles”, “Royal”, “Unique Black Glitter”, “Unique Teal dot”, “Turquoise Prism”.

C.

Trollbeads News: Christmas Uniques Now at Tartooful

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IMG_7724We just received the prettiest little kits of Christmas Uniques!  So. Much. Fun.  Each kit contains three glass that coordinate nicely to play together on your holiday bracelet… and many of them will linger year ’round, too, as there is a good blend of abstract patterns as well as Wintery themes.  We’ve also uploaded individually photographed Christmas Limited Edition glass for 2014, with Christmas Trees, Snowflakes, stunning three dimensional florals and rich red bubbles to tempt you.  Take a peek at them all on our online shop!

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Double it up for Christmas

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IMG_7712I was playing with all the beautiful, rich red Trollbeads uniques here at the gallery and it occurred to me that they were just stunning grouped together as a pure red expression.  Then I thought…. I would wear this with a green bracelet over the holidays,

IMG_7713to create an instant Christmas themed arm party without actually combining red and green in one bracelet!  What do you think?  Would you layer a red bracelet with a green one to say “Christmas”?

The brilliance of the plan, of course, is in its flexibility.  After Christmas the red could be combined with

IMG_7706black and gold for a gorgeous New Year’s display… Next one could add pure white to the green for a fresh start that feels like Snowdrops for the austere month of January.  In February the red bracelet could really shine with the addition of a few well chosen pinks or perhaps some heart themed silvers to celebrate Valentine’s.

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A collection of rich reds, recklessly blended…

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Glittering greens…

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Bow Lock”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Christmas 2014 Limited Edition”, “Water”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Christmas 2013 Limited Edition”, “Snowball”, “Unique”, “Christmas 2014 Limited Edition”, “Unique”, “Mistletoe”, “Christmas 2013 Limited Edition”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Winter Berries”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique”.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Bow Lock”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Unique”, “Apple of Wisdom”, “Unique”, “unique”, “Unique”, “Eternal Love’, “Unique”, “Green Jasper’, “Unique”, “Crystal Heart”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Heart 4 you”, “Unique”, “Unique”.

IMG_7705So this is my new holiday approach: play with beads and bracelets that you already have, give them a fresh twist with a few additions, and see how they can be artfully combined to create a festive look!  Red and green may be the most traditional, but fresh colour combinations such as pink and gold, black white & gold or sapphire and white would all sing during this holiday season.

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: The Vogue Project Day 1

December-2013-Fashion-Magazine-Covers-PicturesDecember 2013 Vogue Cover

This week we take inspiration from that Grande Dame of fashion, Vogue Magazine.  If we only bought one publication a year, it would be the September Vogue… I’ve spent countless hours over the decades poring over that epic volume, garnering ideas about fashion, colour, decor, homes, food, and people.  The December issue is a close second for sheer daydream value, as it’s filled with gowns, jewels and cocktail worthy ensembles to fill a girls’ dreams.  Let’s take a peek inside the pages of this encyclopedia of current taste and find some images that teach us a little something fresh about colour….

vogue-project-day-1-inspiration

day1-frontOur first image shows Pixy Geldof wearing a lush printed dress by Carven.  This page’s unusual palette caught our eye, as it has an intriguing combination of several trend colours that we can see being relevant well into the spring.

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day1-bfmNote how the designer has blended several shades of cool greens with the warm parchment and spicy chestnut.  The claret lip, contrasted with the blush collar and nail brings this vintage feel garment firmly into the now.  The final touch is the slate blue background of the shoot, which resonates nicely with all the cool tones.

day1-slateblueI would have thought to blend the chestnut and green, or the chestnut and blue – but perhaps not all three, and the additional touches of claret, pink and parchment take the palette to an entirely new level.  Gorgeous, isn’t it?  (The fourteen year old deep down inside of me is practicing that mona lisa smile in the mirror right now…)

day1-burgundyFor rich golden browns we reached for unique ambers, the slate blues were ably provided by our perennial favorites, “Azure Bubbles”, and the rich claret comes in the form of “Third Eye” and its companion Classic Core Uniques.  The myriad of greens are brought to the bracelet by “Black Flower Mosaic”, with its highly textured blue and olive

day1-slateblue2tones.  Even the dichroic glass accents in this example perfectly fit the needed palette.  The  gorgeous rich green unique at right is just what the bracelet needed to express not only the colours of  inspiration photo, but also the verdant print of Carven’s dress.  Finally, a hint of lilac pink is added by the “Golden Cave”.

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The over sized and dramatic scale of the photograph’s jewellery dictated the style of the silvers for this composition.  “Opposites”, “Large Berry”, “Thoughts”, “Zanzibar” and “Transformation” shine in this role.  All the beads used for this project may be found online in our Tartoofultoo online gallery.

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Oh – and in the spirit of the season we decided to add a companion cocktail ring to each bracelet… (As one does…) Here we showcase a lovely smoky quartz and yellow gold ring from the Mollard Collection of vintage jewels.  It makes me smile just to see it, it’s just delicious.

Tomorrow:  Vogue Day 2… Ciao darling, don’t ever change, we must do lunch.

C.

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: True Blue

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A recent online inquiry prompted me to play with some of the cobalt blue beads that we currently have in stock and the result is a great reminder of houw powerful and beautiful this colour can be.

uu44-1It all began with this ivory bead with delicate blue flowers scrolling around it…. I had placed it in the past in softer blue compositions, using the ivory background to soften the brilliant cobalt.  When the question came this morning of whether it would stand up to a bolder, cobalt composition I wasn’t initially sure of my answer.

uu44-2However, as may be seen in these photos, this little lovely fits right in with its cobalt companions.

We have a number of excellent blue uniques in stock at the moment, so it was fun and easy to pop together a fresh composition.

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uu44-7The blue, silver and glass tassels that grace the clasp of this bracelet are our last few Christmas Ornaments, but in this composition they don’t feel the least bit seasonal… they’re just a fun design element – simple, pretty and glowing in the light .

uu44-6It’s a extravagant gesture to place not one or two but three (!) on the clasp.  These droplets would be lovely clustered at the end of a Fantasy Necklace as well.  The pearl drop would nestle in among the glass tassels, becoming one of the group.  The overall effect is rich and musical.

Thank you for your questions and design challenges… they inspire us and keep our imaginations working!

C

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: “Winters Gift”

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We woke up to snow on the North Shore this morning!

Our quiet side street is a skating rink, and the cats are disdainfully refusing to step out the door… but the delicate lace trim of snow on the trees is shivery-beautiful, and so inspiring…

It brings to mind a gorgeous piece of original art by Anne Griffiths that we have in the gallery at the moment.  “Winter’s Gift” is a rich, highly textured oil on canvas, and perfectly suits my snowy coast mood.

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Reaching for the play tray, it only took a few minutes to mirror that snowy feel in a bracelet composition.  “Snow”, “Cream Armadillo”, “Faceted Chalcedony and “Dichroic Ice” gleam in the foreground of the above photo.

DSCN5332Simply tossing a group of white beads on a bracelet doesn’t really express the feel of a day like today.  The translucent inky grey ice underfoot, the frozen and brittle twigs and leaves along the paths, the snow gathering at every crevice and nook of rocks, branches and chilly garden fronds…. The ice and snow are made of countless colours.

DSCN5334Yes… there is white and blue.  But also grey, mossy green and shimmering silver.  The snow doesn’t have full dominion in our wooded nook, and everywhere there are dark twigs peeking through, lichens warm the underside of rocks, and rich moss carpets the sides of trees.

DSCN5331It’s on days like today that “Silver Mountain” truly is the North Vancouver bead.  With it’s silver, olive green, ivory and beach glass blue, it’s the most perfect expression of our unique part of the world.  We added a “Snowflake Obsidian” for its fabulous texture.

DSCN5338The loyal Saint Bernard dog makes the perfect companion for a snowy adventure.  This quirky and utterly charming  silver bead is one of the Switzerland World Tour Series that we had access to  during the Summer of 2012.

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On this design, the “Cream Armadillo” offers a welcome rest for the eye, with its soft expanse of ivory calm.  The Christmas 2012 Limited Edition included this fascinating and apropos greyed-ivory bead with metallic bronze dots.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Clasp”, “Christmas 2012 Limited Edition”, “White Paper Fold”, “Plait”, “White Steel”, “Baby Boy”, “Diamond Bead, Black”, “Sweater”, “Silver Mountain”, “St Bernard – Switzerland World Tour”, “Snowflake Obsidian”, “Faceted Chalcedony”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Snow”, “Cream Armadillo”, “Christmas 2012 Limited Edition”.

Stay warm…

C.

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Winter Berries

Perhaps it’s a natural evolution from my “Copper & Pomegranates” colour obsession, but I just can’t get enough of this delicious berry palette at the moment.

I first started noticing this range of colour when some of our talented customers featured it in their bracelet designs.  The Cymbidium Bracelet, by YP and of course NO often plays with this tone in her bracelet designs as well.

I started dreaming about adding a Ruby to my own collection… and then a few uniques, such as this fantastic, graphically  punchy one started appearing in our stock.  I particularly love the metallic graphite dots in this particular design.

While I admire it as a colour, I’ve never really been a “Purple Girl”… but there’s just something a little different about this particular shade.  It leans strongly towards red side of the spectrum… more of a plum, or a berry note than a true purple.

Blended with warm blush pinks it evokes an orchid… and it plays beautifully with the sophisticated buff greys, blacks and bronze-golds of the current Limited Edition Holiday collection.  However, to really make it sing, add a touch of Trollbeads’ 18k gold.

In this bracelet design, we played up the seasonal berries theme by including the new “Lock with Buds”, the “Christmas Tree”, “Winter Snow”, “Soft Heart”, “Bougainvillea” and of course, “Winter Berries”.  Several of the “Christmas Decoration Kit” are dotted along the bracelet, mixed in with a few carefully chosen uniques.  Regular collection designs include “Purple Prism”. “Purple Bud”, “Third Eye Chakra” and the “Ruby with silver core”.

Simply delicious…

C

Trollbeads Inspiration: Autumn Light

We recently had the pleasure of a visit with the lovely Jennifer.  You may recall that she and her partner Kevin designed “Loving Light”, one of this year’s winning beads in the Peoples Bead Contest.  This local pair of artists have a flair for design and an appreciation for Trollbeads that is apparent not only in their successful design, but also in the composition of Jennifer’s bracelets…

This unusual, cross shaped amber was a gift from Trollbeads to Kevin in his selection as a Peoples Bead Design Contest winner.  It cannot be a coincidence that both his design and this amber prominently feature cross images.

This is, of course, Kevin and Jennifer’s winning design.  Jennifer had the kernel of an idea, and Kevin applied his artistic talent and training to translate the idea to a polished drawing suitable for submission.

The golden ambers combine with the hot blues to create a classic palette that is equally at home in a formal or casual ensemble.  The sparkles of faceted stones, liquid clear ambers and cut crystal floating in glass help to make this design sing.

It’s an interesting mix of beads on this bracelet, with retireds, limited editions, uniques and regular collection all blended together.  Here’s the World Tour “Garden Gnome”, and retired “Brown Desert”.

In this photo, “Neither Fish nor Bird nestles between “The Diamond Bead, Blue” from the 2011 Christmas Collection, and this season’s star bead, “The Wave of Dreams”.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Safety Chain”, “Loving Light”, “Fur Flower” (retired), “Decorative Baby Rabbit”, “Milky Way”, (non troll), “Midnight Flower”, “Brown Desert”, “Garden Gnome” (World Tour Germany), “Unique Amber”, “Diamond Bead, Blue”, “Neither Fish Nor Bird, Big”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Unique Amber”, The Hare and the Tortoise”, “Golden Quartz”, “Skyline”, (World Tour Hong Kong), “Owl”, “Beach”, “Maple Syrup Amber”, “Loving Light”.

Thank you for the visit, Jennifer – and thank you for letting us share your bracelet!

C.