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.


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!


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!



Trollbeads Inspiration: A New Bracelet Every Day

Every Trollie approaches their collection a little differently, and that approach may even change over time… Some people design specific bracelets, one at a time, and leave them composed once they are perfectly to their taste.  Others compose several at a time, adding beads whenever they find something wonderful.  Others still only have one chain, but a whole bowlful of beads from which they choose designs to compose bracelets according to their taste that day, week or season.

The owner of the bracelet pictured here is the lovely young Mum who created “E’s Indigo Blues”.  We already shared with you another update to her original bracelet design… but over time her collection has grown enough that now she can create beautiful, fresh bracelet combinations on a whim – and she does!

We so enjoy seeing what she has put together each time she pops into the gallery… and this time we were quick to snap a few photos of this soft and pretty design to share with the readers of the blog.

This bracelet seemed particularly topical, based on the in-progress designs that we are seeing in the Village this Spring:  many of our ladies are mulling similar, light-as-air compositions featuring ivory and the softest of natural blues.

Key bead choices for to achieve this type of blue might include “Silver Mountain”, “Blue Desert”, “Light Blue Shadow (retired)”, and “Chalcedony (retired).  Ivory is rare in the Trollbeads collection, but new introduction, “White Paper Fold” plays nicely with “Conch” and “Fireflies”.

Many of the “Desert” series of bead designs have hidden hints of blue in their depths… this “Desert Flower” reveals it’s electric blue heart when placed near another blue bead… the clever use of these two designs helps to further emphasize the soft blue theme of this bracelet.

Some of you may recall that E has a very unusual “Trinity”, with a pearlescent, white glass.  This photo shows another side of this bead – a lovely rich blue with lots of depth and texture.  The combination of the two stones on one bead firmly sets the colour theme for this bracelet.

I admire the glowing “Chalcedony (retired)” in this photo, and it reminds me that light is huge element in this bracelet design.  Many of the beads selected are experts in transforming, reflecting and amplifying light… the result is a bracelet that plays with light in myriad ways.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Silver Fish Lock”, “White Stripe”, “Fireflies”, “Chalcedony (retired)”, “Frames”, “Grey Prism”, “Milky Quartz”, “Trinity”, “Brown Dot (retired)”, “Silver Mountain”, “The Diamond Bead, white”, “Waves”, “Blue Desert”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Desert Flower”, “Mermaid”, “Light Blue Shadow”, “Conch”, “White Bubbles”.

I find this design so inspiring… I hope you have too.  Thank you, E!


The Troll comes to Tartooful Today!

This is it!  We’ve made it to the big day… champagne, home made macaroons, juicy trunk show specials and, of course, most importantly, lots and lots of gorgeous beads!  This is the day to splurge and snag that fantasy necklace, Troll Tree or Crystal Triangles that you’ve been mulling – because with the show specials you’ll be able to stretch your dollar and get some extras that you can gift over the upcoming holidays – or keep for yourself! Even if you don’t need a thing, come by for a visit, chat with other collectors in your area and treat yourself to a fun bead experience, we’d love to see you.

It all kicks off at noon and goes until around eight…

See you there!



Trollbeads Inspiration: CN’s collection part I

CN is a fabulous, smart, funny and beautiful trollie who we’re lucky enough to have as a Tartooful Patron.  She started with us, and we’ve seen her collection carefully grow, and seen her taste evolve along the way.  She recently visited us with her full collection in tow, and was kind enough to allow me to photograph it and share it here on the blog.

Here you’ll see her “Baby” bracelet.  She calls it that because it was the one she started first, and I think now she is more fond of her more recent compositions… but as you can see from the photos, her “Baby” is pretty gorgeous.  (Perhaps one day we’ll sit down to the Troll table and see if we can update it so that she falls in love again…)  I love the brilliant teal and blues…

Next up, her juicy green composition… this is an absolutely beautiful bracelet, with all the prettiest greens, softened by three “silver mountains”. (With all its shades of green, from emerald to softest jade, plus three mountains, this composition could easily be named the “North Shore” bracelet: moss, trees, ferns, Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain & Mount Seymour…)

I like the rhythm offered by the repeated bead designs – not only silver mountain, but also “Aventurine”, “Green Jade”, “Green Armadillo”, “Florence”, and “Earth”.  She has a lovely, retired “Green Dot” taking center stage, and features a perfect emerald-green retired “Mexico Lock” as her clasp.

I’ll finish for today with her ultra sophisticated and crisp black and white bracelet.  This design has lots of rich, gold accents… (which look especially amazing on her as she usually has a perfect tan!) Note the light and sparkling “Golden Quartz”, the “Black Gold” and pair of “Crown Chakras”, the golden “Honeydew Amber”, “Yellow Prism” and of course, the “Sun Bead”, with it’s sun motif in 18k gold.  We’ve noticed that the “Golden Quartz” were only available in this light, almost citrine colour for a short time, and that all subsequent examples of the design are quite a bit darker.  Added sparkle comes from the “Diamond Bead, black” and the faceted “Black Spinel”.

Next time:  CN’s collection part II.


PS. Only three sleeps until the Little Troll comes to Tartooful… we’re almost ready!


Trollbeads: outside the box…

an aerial view of some of the new arrivals during unpacking…

Cristi has been giggling at me as I’ve been checking in all the Little Troll stock… I keep coming across lovely examples of beads, and cooing out loud over them.  Truly, it’s such fun. I’ve taken a few photos of new arrivals, but this is just a taste: there are so many others!

There are lots of delicately coloured Universal Uniques in the mix this time – soft greys and lilacs, pinks and pale blues.  There’s also  a group of dramatic black and white ones that are going to be beautiful on someone’s monochrome bracelet… I’ve been tempted by the idea of black, white and rich yellow – wouldn’t that be chic?  Or maybe black, white and hot pink?  It’s amazing to see the full series of each type of bead:  for example, all of the prisms together are glittering and gorgeous… usually we have ours scattered about the display with their colour groupings, but this time I’m arranging them together, just to show off their texture.

One of the most exciting things to unpack so far was the Pink Agate series…

It’s wonderful to see these again, they’re just as pretty as I remembered!  They range from raspberry, to pink mixed with a little apricot, to softest petal pink… Yum!

Right… back to work!  (I love my job…)


Trollbeads: pretty young things….

Box of joy

We’ve been busy as happy little bees at tartooful the last couple of days, with lots of exciting boxes full of Trollbeads have been arriving.  Our regular restock of Trollbeads arrived, and the massive Trunk show stock is beginning to come in too!

New arrivals now on display

With every order there are always a few surprises… beads that we haven’t seen in a while, or that are extraordinary expressions of their design.  This time we found several outstanding items, including this stunning “Autumn” dangle:

Isn’t it a beauty?!  I compared it with stock photos (see left) and there’s no question that this example is far prettier than average… very light and translucent, with hardly any brown and tons of turquoise, teal, green, and even a red.  The delicate swirl is spiderweb-fine and gently arrayed in the ball.

We also received all of the “desert” series of beads, including several “Pink Desert”.  It’s a treat to see so many of the same bead together, particularly one that is so very changeable from one example to another.  No two pink deserts are even remotely alive, and it’s fun to compare.  Hmm imagine a whole bracelet of “deserts”…. wouldn’t it be gorgeous!

Here’s a little teaser of some of the trunk show stock that is trickling in… Cruel, I know. 😉


9 days… ’til the Little Troll

This warm & lovely design group includes some of my favorites:  “Wildcat”, with its soft sand swirls with gorgeous blue undertone… “Chocolate Parrot” features a deep bubble with a hint of the same insane blue… and this particular “Brown Desert” boasts a tortoiseshell texture that is most unusual.