30 Day Challenge: Day 18


IMG_9662Today’s bracelet was inspired by my dear friend Gillian, and her exquisite taste. On a recent visit she spotted my collection, lying strewn about on a tray, and sat down to have a play.  In no time at all she had teased together a design that contained every one of my sparkle beads!  I never think to use just one design category of my beads in this way, and immediately thought that I must give it a try….


IMG_9660The designs with metallic sparkle are among my favorites in the collection… I think I first picked out a “Blue Desert” for myself… but Brown and Pink followed soon after… and of course since Spring of 2014 there are so many gorgeous, sparkling designs from which to choose.  In addition, there are the various designs that include gold or silver leaf – silver mountain and Golden Cave are fixtures on most of my bracelet designs.

IMG_9661When creating today’s design I started by centering a focal bead by Trollbeads designer, Scot Bouwens.  This big, beautiful bead is one that I most often use on a Fantasy Necklace, but this bracelet concept is custom made for it!   I framed it with a pair of “Blue Deserts” that display the phenomenal range of expression that is be found in this design.

IMG_9664Sparkle Beads love to Bathe in the Sun.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Lock” (retired Format), “Unique Glass”, “Plait” (retired), “Pink Desert”, “Bead of Fortune”, “Blue Desert”, “Tupilak” (retired), “Golden Cave”, “Spot” (retired), “Blue Desert”, “Artisan Bead by Scot Bouwens”, “Blue Desert”, “Shortcut” (retired), “Brown Desert” (retired), “Frogs” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Neither Fish Nor Bird” (retired), “Blue Desert”, “Art Deco” (retired), “Golden Cave”.

Thanks for the inspiration, Gil!


Trollbeads Inspiration: HO’s Azure Aurora


heather8This bracelet belongs to one of our beloved Trollies, and when we saw it recently, we found it so inspiring we asked if we could share it with the readers of the blog.  Here we find a masterful combination:  she has managed to combine two of our favorite beads  – Azure Bubbles and the faceted Aurora in a gorgeous, tone-on-tone composition.


heather6To achieve harmony in this design HO has incorporated a wide range of shades from palest rose to deep lilac.  This allows both the milky iridescence of the  Faceted Aurora and the richer purple tones in her Azure bubbles to find homes on this bracelet.  In addition, taking her cue from the greyed green found in the Azure Bubbles, HO has

heather9utilized a natural olive tone as her complementary colour.  You’ll find touches of it in many of the beads on the bracelet, from the detailing on the uniques, to the patterning on the mosaic beads and of course the gorgeous Labradorite.   This thread of greyed olive gives the design a lovely sense of continuity and rhythm.

heather7It also adds interest and subtlety to what could otherwise possibly have felt predictable.  A couple of hints of slate blue complete the palette… seen here in a glittering Blue Desert but also found in a couple of uniques.  This further incorporates the various shades found in the Azure bubbles, and sets this bracelet apart.


I find compositions with two main colours much easier to design than ones with three or more – so I know how tricky it is to create a multi colour bracelet such as this one, that is so beautifully balanced.


All beads from HO’s private collection.  Clockwise from clasp:  “Stories of You Limited Edition Lock”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Blue Desert”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Angles Triangles” (retired), “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Labradorite”, “Three in One”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Pink Desert”, “Baby’s Breath Limited Edition”, “Faceted Aurora Limited Edition”, “Baby’s Breath Limited Edition”, “Amethyst Summer Stones Limited Edition”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Three in One”, “Purple Fusion” (retired), “Kathy Perras Artisan Bead”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Organic Hearts”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Blue Desert”, “Classic Core Unique”.

Thank you for sharing your inspiring composition with the readers of the blog, HO!C.

PS. We are expecting another shipment of “Stories of You” Starter bracelets, which include the Limited Edition Lock shown above, as well as the Faceted Aurora at the heart of this design… They are so beautiful, and great value.  If you still don’t have one to call your own, be sure to email us and reserve yours right away… 604.924.0122 or tartooful@gmail.com

Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 6

IMG_1212A Happy Accident

IMG_1213Today’s bracelet is inspired by the happy accident of some beads’ placement on the play tray.  This morning I disassembled yesterday’s bracelet as usual, and grouped beads roughly according to colour.  When I glanced down at the rods with their neat cohorts of glass, my eye fell on a deliciously sparkling combination.

IMG_1207My eyes love to play across the sparkles

IMG_1210Now that I’ve seen these three beads together I can’t believe I’ve never created a bracelet using this exact combination.  I’ve owned all these beads for years!  I must have played with multiple deserts before, for clients’ compositions, but never on my own.  The rest of the bracelet followed so naturally, it was designed and strung in minutes.

IMG_1214Familiar, yet fresh thanks to the sparkling center portion featuring “Pink Desert”, “Golden Cave” and “Brown Desert”.  I’ve seen older examples of “Golden Cave” that were soft and tawny versions of this bead, with hardly any bronze and lots of smooth, metallic lilac toned gold.  They are stunning and I feel like I missed out by not finding one sooner.  Perhaps one day I will stumble across one.  It’s all part of the allure of Trollbeads.

IMG_1205I couldn’t wait to wear this design


Trollbeads Inspiration: Between Troll Friends

We’ve often spoken of the family of Trollbeads… On so many levels Trollbeads really does feel like a family:  The Aagaard – Nielsen Family that creates the magic… The Tartooful Family here in the village, with our kids, and dogs perfectly at home in the gallery… and of course the Trollie Family that we appreciate so much.  Our Trollie family spans the globe and means so much to us.

The story of this bracelet is the story of two friends who find themselves far apart, but continue to share in each others interests through the magical world of Trollbeads.  MS and RR share photos and inspiration with each other send each other remarkable beads for gifts.  You’d have to be a very good friend to give up the gorgeous Azure bubbles pictured at left, but that’s exactly what MS did for her dear friend RR.

Before she sent it off we took the time to arrange it on a bracelet featuring many of the beads that are already in RR’s collection, just to see how it would all look together.  It was so pretty, we did a little photo shoot so that we could share the with you, the viewers of our blog…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Clasp”, “Light Blue Stripe”, “Jugend”, “Desert Flower”, “Silver Mountain”, “Forget Me Not”, “Diamond Bead White”, “Azure Bubbles”, “White Stripe”, “Cherry Blossom”, “Light Blue Shadow”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Rose”, Light Blue Gold”.

The new addition to RR’s already lovely collection will look perfect nestled among its soft blues, airy whites and warm khakis.  The Azure has just the right shade of light blue and touch of sand to complement beads such as ‘Desert Flower” and “Light Blue Gold”.

A beautiful bead, and a beautiful “Trollfriendship”…


8 days… til the Little Troll

(but who’s counting?!)

Cristi & have been struck by how many extraordinary beads are arriving for the upcoming Trunk Show… really amazing examples of each bead.  Troll just keeps improving its product, and continues to astonish us.  Every one of this set of six is spectacular… I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a blue “Khaki Stripe”, and the “Black Silk” is an exciting return to the very first examples I saw when it was first released – so bronze and iridescent.