A year in the life of my bracelet…. 2011.

January 2011

2011 was an unexpectedly busy year for my bracelet.  Up until the beginning of this year I had one bracelet to which I made subtle changes with the season or my mood – a little more cranberry, or a little more aqua… A neutral base palette allowed me the freedom to redesign my bracelet by changing only two or three beads.  Looking back, it’s amazing that I was able to resist expanding my little collection for as long as I did…

September 2011

But seeing so many gorgeous compositions at Tartooful started to make me rethink my neutrals… and then the clincher was the release of the Autumn 2011 collection.  A very special “Blue Goldstone” came along with an endearing dimple on one side and extra sparkle, and I was hooked on the idea of a beautiful blue and grey bracelet.  I already had most of the beads, so with the addition of only the “Blue Goldstone”, an “Azure Bubbles”, “Black Flower Mosaic” and a “Moon Ocean” a whole new bracelet was born.  (Of course, since that time, there have already been changes:  “Beach” and “Moon Ocean” went home with customers who really loved them…)

October 2011

So this left me with a common Trollbeads design dilemma:  what to do with my little bowl of “leftovers”?  They were all beads I loved, I just needed a palette that would pull them all together.  Once again, inspiration came from my customers’ creations.  Beautiful works by NO and MS earlier in the year came to mind, and I started putting together my “Copper & Pomegranates” bracelet.  This bracelet makes me smile every time I look at it!

December 2011

Old habits die hard:  in December I was craving a little “redesign”, so I decided to see what all the new beads could create if blended together on one bracelet, et voila!  The sunshine & ice bracelet, pictured above.  It was perfect for those clear, cold, blue-sky days that we had that month.  It was fun to try something new, but my two bracelets are safely back together again now.

That’s the wonderful thing about Troll:  complete creative freedom to redesign on a whim… It’s endlessly fascinating.


Gifts for Trollies…

We know, the last minute panic is setting in… but don’t worry!  We still have brilliant solutions for all your favorite Trollies.

1.  Beads, of course!  Don’t forget that we have files on all our customers at the shop with a record of their collection.  We are happy to make suggestions of what pieces will complement their current palette and suit their taste.  Many of our ladies have even made wishlists of their favorite designs!

2.  Trollbeads earrings… These lovely, delicate earrings are sterling silver with sparkling brilliants.  Trollbeads has a collection of beautiful, tiny beads that are designed expressly for their earring series: amethyst, prehnite, onyx, chalcedony and an array of silver designs are easily exchanged to create a new pair of earrings every day…

3.  Trollbeads necklaces make a thoughtful gift… they’re the perfect way to showcase just a select few of a collection, or to enjoy a bead design that otherwise wouldn’t fit into a bracelet design.  We have two types to choose from:  a traditional, simple necklace which holds the beads in the same manner as the bracelet, and the more unusual Fantasy Necklace, which holds the beads stacked vertically and may be worn in a variety of ways.

4.  Play Tray!  This is a must for the serious collector.  This ingenious little device allows us to easily redesign bracelets, and try multiple different combinations without taking the time to re thread beads on the chain.  It’s so important to see the beads from the side, the way one actually does on the bracelet, as they look so completely different from other angles.

5.  If you’re still unsure of what will delight your favorite Trollie, we’re happy to make up a gift certificate in any amount for her to come enjoy the treat of a Tartooful shopping experience.  Always a perfect fit, it’s sure to please!



Fantasy Necklaces for the holidays…

This year Cristi and I decided that we had worked so hard at the shop that we had both made the “nice” list… so as a Christmas “bonus” to ourselves we are finally treating ourselves to fantasy necklaces!

They’ve been along time coming – you know how it goes, there is always something more pressing at the time, but we’ve been drooling on the ones at the store for months and it is finally time for us to have ones of our own…

So how to wear them for the first time?!  As you know, it doesn’t take much to create a gorgeous piece with these brilliant necklaces.

Cristi has had her eye on a beautiful “Labradorite” with the flash all on the top surface – hanging vertically on a necklace it simply glows!  We found a gorgeous “Organic bubble” with deep rich greens and golds that looks wonderful with the “Labradorite”.  The crowning touch is her retired “King & Queen”, with it’s two dichroic glass dots.  How perfect that one of the dots matches the blue of the “Labradorite” and the other is a rich gold that brings out the gold in the Labradorite.


Trollbeads Inspiration: a beautiful beginning

This month we have started lots of new bracelets, as loved ones prepare for the holidays and buy each other gifts from the heart… but today we started a particularly beautiful one, and I just had to share the composition that this brand new collector has created.  Over the last week or so we’ve met with this client a few times to discuss colour palettes and favorite beads, and today she created the lovely bracelet above.

Like most of us, she can’t take home all of her beads at once – she picked one very special bead to begin, and has “wishlisted” the remainder of the design, hoping that her family will come by the shop to add to her new collection.

I love this design for a few reasons…

first, it’s wonderfully neutral, but far from boring.  It has rich, wonderful colour  and incorporates  brown, black, grey, amber, bone and even white, which makes it so very wearable, and easily modified for changing seasons or simply moods.

She has chosen a variety of textures and patterns – natural faceted stone, smooth glass, detailed silver and even a prism.  The glass are striped, transparent, opaque, swirled and bubbled, but the cohesive palette maintains a clear design theme.

It’s important to incorporate yellow gold into this design, as the client wears both silver and yellow gold, and would like the bracelet to complement the rest of her jewellery.  However, mindful of budget, she has wish listed 18k gold stoppers as a more affordable way to add a touch of the precious metal to her design.  In addition, she has placed a “Silver Trace, Gold” close to the center of the design, where it has great impact.

Clockwise from top:  “18k gold stopper”, “Wildcat”, “White Steel”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “Labradorite”, “Silver Maternity”, “White Stripe”, “Silver Trace, Gold”, “Large Berry”, “Grey Prism”, “Organic Stripe”, “18k gold stopper”.

So which bead do you think she picked to begin?  Which one would you pick?  We always advise people to select the one that is the most unusual and special in the group… the one that they just might never see again.  So…

She picked the “golden” labradorite!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Red Christmas

We decided to play with the new Limited Edition Red glass series on our Trollbeads workbench, and we just love the way these rich dark, reds play with teal greens… Both of these colour families can be tricky to pair, but together they make a fresh approach to Christmas red, while still offering a warm nod to tradition…

I like the addition of a few chestnut browns for the warmth that they add to the composition, particularly as each one of these bead designs features gold elements.  We very much enjoy the new “Red Tigers Eye”, with it’s brilliant, dramatic flash and this is one of the loveliest “Golden Thread”s that I’ve ever seen…

clockwise from clasp:  “18k gold heart clasp”, “Green Flower Mosaic”, “LE Christmas Red glass”, “Hallelujah”, “LE Christmas Red glass”, “Red Tigers Eye”, “Glass Trolls”, “Blue-green Feather”, “Brown Desert”, “Heart Ball”, “Golden Thread”, “Amazonite”, “18k stopper”.

This bead is key in this bracelet design, as it includes both red and cool green, giving cohesion to the composition.  It’s one of those beads that is fun to look at closely, with its many layers of colour, amazing depth, and a cluster of bubbles at the heart of each blossom.  Looking closely one can see that the green is really very blue, with a tiny edge of golden yellow on each petal.  Each one of these beads is a tiny perfect work of art, a testament to the skills of the Trollbeads glass artisans.

I love everything about this bead:  the colour of the dichroic glass dots is perfect for this composition, a lovely clear teal green… and just look at the expression on the troll’s face!  It’s Wonderfully reminiscent of illustrations in an antique book of fairy tales.

A little red goes a long way in this bracelet… so many of our ladies have teal and chestnut beads in their collections: maybe consider adding a couple of these limited edition reds, while they last?


Trollbeads Update: Cathy’s Icy Sunshine Bracelet

We’re in the busy time now at the shop, with lots of holiday shoppers arriving at the shop frazzled and leaving so much happier, with a tall stack of perfect gifts that are wrapped and ready to give… It’s so rewarding to hear every year that we are a one-stop solution, with unique items for everyone on our customers’ lists that even come in under budget!  It makes being at the shop so much fun…

Inspired by the happy mood of the season I decided to design my bracelet into a sparkling and blatantly pretty look.  Its icy palette is a fresh take on a holiday theme, but it feels right for me, especially after the beautiful clear, cold and sunshine filled days that we have had this week.

“Silver mountain” and “Rose Quartz, round” feel shimmery and snowy… “Silver Mountain” was the very first bead I chose for myself, and it’s still my very favorite.  This “Rose Quartz” I chose at the Autumn Trunk Show simply because it was so beautiful!  Lately they’ve been exceptionally pretty, with lots of character and a sweet pink color.

In this redesign I didn’t acquire a single new bead – this is a totally fresh look that I composed using beads from my “copper & pomegranate” bracelet, as well as my grey-blue bracelet.  (In another post I’ll show you how that bracelet looks now…)  To me, this is the very best part:  the genius of Trolls allow us to create a yummy new piece of jewelry on a whim, in a matter of minutes.

What have you imagined for your holiday bracelet?


Trollbeads Inspiration: wintergreen

Isn’t this necklace by Cristi gorgeous?  So simple:  “Lake Eye” and “Green Flower Mosiac” framing “Climbing Hydrangea”… The touch of gold in the heart of the flower add a touch or warmth and richness to the cool green.  This is elegant, yet wearable for everyday – I just had to share it!




Isn’t it funny how a bead can kind of creep up on you?

There have been so many times that I’ve seen a bead design and thought “ho-hum…on the right bracelet it’ll look great, but it’s not for me”… only to see it in a completely different light a few months later.  Perhaps it’s a matter of context:  the season, or the colour family that is speaking to me at the time… But for whatever reason, I’ve learned not to completely dismiss any of Troll’s designs.

A good example is the “Diamond Bead, Pink”… Last Christmas I welcomed it into the collection, with it’s gorgeous colour and huge drama – but I didn’t really see at as a bead that I would want for my own bracelet.  Then this example arrived at the shop and I was smitten!  It’s a softer shade of raspberry than usual, and simply lovely.

I’ve seen a few truly amazing raspberry bracelets this year, and lots of original colour combinations:  pink & silver grey, pink & white, pink, pink and more pink… but how about pink and gold?  Stunning.

Sigh.  This may mean I’ll have to start a new bracelet…


Fresh Year, Fresh Start, Fresh Beads…

Fresh Year, Fresh Beads!

There must be a lot of happy Trollies in Vancouver, because after Christmas our normally well-stocked Trollbead display was reduced to a few beads in a tray!  While we still have some extraordinary beads in stock, we’re very excited that our big, beautiful restock order is on the way.  The first order of 2011 promises to be a blockbuster one, with all our favorite beads and a few surprises.  It’s scheduled to arrive sometime on Friday, so plan a trip to the village to be first to see…


Trollbeads inspiration: sunlit ice

Cool Sunshine

Vancouver finds itself in the midst of one of its trademark winter cold snaps… the sky is blindingly blue, the green grass, caught in the act of preparing for Spring, is frozen into tiny steel blades, and our snow capped mountains are reflected perfectly in our glass calm bay.  This bracelet is inspired by the sunlit ice of that sort of winters’ day.

Included on this bracelet are:  (from top)  “White Pearl”, “Rouse Quartz, round”, “Beige Bubbles”, “Lucky Knot”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Chalcedony”, “Rose Quartz”, “Beige Blue Dot”, “Sandi”, “Pink Gold’, “Pink Quartz”, “Pearl Lock”.