Trollbeads Inspiration: Hidden Garden Bracelet


The arrival of this stunning “Glass Trolls” made me want to create a bracelet matched its dewy and light as air mood.

With delicious shades of apple green, to golden honey, to aqua and forget-me-not blue, the dichroic glass acts as an inspiration and focal point for the whole bracelet.


This allows me to pull together a diverse set of blues and greens that include turquoise, teal, sage, birds egg blue and even this gorgeous Emerald that takes the center position in the composition.

A pair of newer design uniques come in handy for knitting together the palette as well… these swirled glass patterns hide every shade in the bracelet, with periwinkle to teal and all shades of blue between.  I love the dimension of pattern in these glass; they invite the eye to dive right into their cerulean depths.

I find that “Tropical Travels” is a good match for the size and lush mood of this “Glass Trolls”, and I’ve added a slightly smaller “Royal” and “Ornamental Flower” to complete the set of silvers.  To me, the overall mood of this bracelet is a Summers afternoon in a rich garden.  Perhaps this verdant place is in an exotic locale, like a Florentine Palazzo’s courtyard, adorned with vines and fountains….


Clockwise from clasp:  “Small Fish Lock” (Summer 2016 Release), “Unique Glass”, “Ancient Palace”, “Royal”, “Blue Agate”, “Florence”, “Traces”, “Glass trolls”, “Unique Glass”, “Blue Agate’, “Emerald”, “Blue Agate”, “Unique Glass”, “Tropical Travels”, “Florence”, “Blue Agate”, “Silver Mountain”, “Ornamental Flower”, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Unique Glass”.


30 Day Challenge – Day 13

IMG_9592“…and now for something completely different…”

IMG_9591Today I decided it was time to kick myself a little out of my comfort zone, and try to design from a different approach.  Usually I am very much colour based in my compositions.  The silvers basically offer me a framework around which I hang all my chunks of colour.  Today I decided to be much more flexible about colour.

IMG_9590Instead, today I sorted out my beads into size categories, and committed to work only with my very tiniest silver and glass beads.  Of course, in the wake of the “Small and Beautiful” series, we all have some smaller beads bouncing around in our bead boxes.  I usually try to use their smaller size to advantage, and place them

IMG_9588close to the end of the bracelet for an attractive tapered effect.  They can also be quite handy to ensure that certain silvers are not obscured.  For instance, “Happy Fish” is even happier when placed next to a Small & Beautiful, so that all its glorious detail can be seen.  However, I don’t think that I’ve ever built an entire bracelet of

IMG_9589“mini beads”, and I have to say I’m surprised and delighted with the result.  Firstly, I am shocked at just how many minis there are, hiding in my collection!  I guess that one on each end of seven or eight bracelets does really add up to about a whole bracelet’s worth.  The next thing I noticed was how amazing this bracelet *feels*. 

IMG_9593Teeny Tiny “Sandi” feels like a giant…

Rolling this bracelet around in the palm of my hand, it feels wonderful.  It’s so soft, so fluid and so unexpectedly petite… it’s a treat!  If you have never tried this approach, do give it a whirl it is so much fun.

IMG_9587This Armadillo never gets the coveted center spot…


Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Clasp” (retired), “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”, “Art Deco” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Cells” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Plait” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Happy Fish” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Happy Fish” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Van Gogh” (World Tour Series Netherlands), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Family of Mushrooms” (World Tour Series Lithuania), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Sandi” (retired), “Rosa Pearl”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Garden of Peacocks

Engraved Azure

Our friend from the U.S.A., LD has been playing with the new collection, and when we saw this phenomenal composition we knew we had to share it with you.  (You might recall L.D. participated in the 30 day challenge here on the blog earlier in the Summer, creating a new bracelet every day for a month!)

Here she has placed a shimmering “Triple Pearl Black” at the heart of the bracelet, and surrounded it with a series of rich and dramatic blues.  There is an artful blend of brilliant jewel tones and dark mysterious shades, with a series of rare, Peacock patterned Small & Beautiful uniques stealing the show.  The new “Engraved Azure” looks right at home here, with its two shades of blue and delicate patterning.  Every single bead is a beautiful example of its pattern, and the whole design is absolutely stunning.

Thank you for sharing your new design, L.D.!





Trollbeads Inspiration: Summer Naturals


We seem to have had a series of exceptional beads at Tartooful recently… from retired treasures, to fabulous unique ambers, to hard-to-find current uniques, we continue to find great inspiration in Trollbeads’ creations…


IMG_1999Cristi has artfully combined claret and rose for an unusual and pretty bracelet composition.  It includes the coveted “Brown Desert” at left, which seems to have vanished immediately upon its retirement earlier this year!  Note how its red undertones work with the auburn of the “Golden Cave” and the large amber…

IMG_2000This very pale “Pink Desert” feels ethereal with “Rose Quartz” and a shimmering, honeyed-pink universal unique.  This softest shade of pink allows this bracelet, with all its warm naturals, to stay feeling light, airy and summery.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Clasp”, “Universal Unique”, “Fur Animal” (retired), “Ladybug”, “Pink Desert”, “Golden Cave”, “Heart Print”, “Classic Core Unique Turtle”, “Unique Amber”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Mountain Flower”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Rose Quartz”, “Small Planet”, “Red Mud Jasper” (Summer Stones Limited Edition 2013), “Unique Dice”.


Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 29


IMG_1670In these last days of the challenge I am trying to implement design ideas developed over the course of the past month.  The aim of the challenge was to rediscover the potential of my own collection, to break down my preconceptions of how pattern and colour could be combined, and ultimately, (hopefully), become a better designer.

IMG_1669It has been humbling.  I certainly discovered some shortcomings… both in my abilities and in my collection.  For example, I’d like to add some golden yellow to my palette.  I realized this after seeing the powerful complementary role it plays in fellow challenge designer. LeAnn Lowe’s incredible compositions.  Melinda Deyhle’s delicious combinations of blues and honeyed yellows made me miss a few beads that I have had and given up along the way.  I really must replace “Moon Ocean”, “Beach”, “Cool Dusk” and “Honey Dawn”.  (Some beads stay forever on my bracelet, others I part with if a customer really, really needs it!)


IMG_1664I never would have composed a bracelet like this one before the challenge.  Here I’ve colour blocked the glass in equal sets of three.  Between those sets of I have grouped silvers, also in sets of three.  I played with the difference in shape between the “doughnut” shaped silver and the perfectly round spheres.


IMG_1665This bracelet design is very structured, but having tight limitations on a given design can inspire greater heights of creativity.  In this case, being able to pick only *three* beads of each colour made me look very closely at each one and try hard to put together a trio where not only were the individuals lovely, but also complementary to each other.


This bracelet is wonderfully tactile.  Groupings of silver beads flow on the chain in a way that is very heavy, fluid and satisfying.  I confess that while I have always admired the silver, and acquired some lovely pieces, I have not tended to fall in love with them the way I do glass and natural stones.  However, over the course of the challenge I have finally begun to understand the powerful role that the silver can play, and I know that it will affect how I see silver from now on.


One.  Last.  Day.  What to design?!  There are still too many compositions to create!


Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 20


It’s the beginning of the Canada Day long weekend, and here in Vancouver we are braced for what we are told is going to be a dramatic heat wave.  This is exciting stuff, for us on the wet & misty West Coast!

saturday-sm1To be fair we had some beautiful weather back in May, and even now it’s very warm here, but still…. we’re ready to see some of our summery, clear blue skies!  By Canada Day on Monday it’s supposed to be blisteringly hot and clear, so I’m getting into the right frame of mind with this bright and clear, tropical fruit feeling design.

saturday-sm2I wanted to make one bracelet that used almost all my super bright beads, just to make sure that I made good use of them over the course of the challenge… there’s one more that I just couldn’t quite place on here, a deep rich sapphire blue – but I am dreaming up a whole bracelet designed around it.  (stay tuned for that one!)


Surrounded by the swaths of colour of all the armadillos, the “Sakura” bead is a welcome dash of pattern…


Clockwise from clasp:  Basic Double lobster clasp (retired version), Stopper, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Unique Amber”, “Heart”, “Turquoise Armadillo”, “African Amethyst – Summer Stones Limited Edition”, “Spot”, “Unique Armadillo”, “Sakura – World Tour Japan”, “Green Armadillo” (retired), “Smiling Cylinders”, “Lavender Jade – Chinese Limited Edition”, “Orange Armadillo” (retired), “Neither Fish nor Bird, large” (retired), “Silver Trace, Blue-green” (retired), “Light Turquoise Prism”, Stopper.




Trollbeads: The Ghost Bracelet

This just in from Trollbeads:

“It all started with a film – Trollhand. The film created a demand. And now we are excited to bring you the fluorescent bead, Inner Glow, and two new thrilling silver beads: Spider and Pumpkin.”

Yes, that’s right… “Inner Glow” glows in the dark.   Seriously, how much fun is THAT?!  I feel as giddy as a little kid, just thinking about it…

Naturally, we had to play as soon as we had our paws on them… Meet the Ghost Bracelet.

These Inner Glow beads have luminescent dots suspended in clear glass, that feels like a whisper of green in daylight, but glows an emerald green in the dark.  They’re very effective – it only takes a few moments of bright light to “Charge” them up to a glow.

We couldn’t resist placing this amazing Triple Pearl Black on the bracelet… All three pearls are beautiful, but it has one pearl in particular that is a saturated, peacock swirl of purple and green.  Perfect for this eerie, misty and ghost-y composition!

The Pumpkin is meticulously detailed, with a bat in full flight on it’s face as its mouth, and another bar outline on it’s back.  It’s a nice size – not too big, that it would overwhelm a bracelet – but big enough that all the details are perfectly visible.

The Last bead in the new, limited edition series is the “Spider”.  It’s a delicate bead, with tiny details that make it sing.  The knobbly knees, funny little eyeballs and dot pattern on the back are classic Troll.  I’d love to see this bead crawling up a Fantasy Necklace…

We know… what you really want to know is “What does it look like in the dark?!”  We did our best to capture for you the intense green glow that appears in darkness.  Isn’t it fun?  Cristi and I are both lusting after a whole raft of these beads!

Clockwise from clasp:  “Pearl Lock”, “Inner Glow”, “Spider”, “Blue Desert”, “Conch”, “Pumpkin”, “Cozy”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Inner Glow”, “Triple Pearl, Black”, “Inner Glow”, “Chalcedony”, “Silver Mountain”, “Spider”, “Inner Glow”, “Labradorite”, “Pumpkin”, “Inner Glow”.

Gives us the shivers in the best way!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Autumn Transition

When I saw this stunning collection of Black Flower Mosaics on YP’s leather necklace recently, I thought what a brilliant way to gently transition a blue leather into Autumn colours…

Well, actually I thought that after I had recovered from the initial rush of seeing all those amazing Black Flower Mosaics.  YP has a beautiful, well-chosen collection, with many extraordinary examples of all her favorite beads.  She has an eye for the unusual, exceptional and special items that might be overlooked by other people, less familiar with the standard design appearance.

Just look at the result:  these two glass beads are both “Black Flower Mosaic”, but they are so dramatically different from one another!  It’s the individual variations from bead to bead, such as these, that make Trollbeads endlessly fascinating to me.

So… if you’re mulling ways to begin to transition your wardrobe to Autumn 2012, perhaps your Trollbracelet is a good place to start!


(Only two more sleeps until the new collection launches…. !)

Trollbeads Inspiration: Perfectly Pure.

This perfectly pure white bracelet belonging to CN has been featured before on this blog, but recent changes to its design merit a second look… It’s quite possibly the perfect Summertime antidote to cloudy days – light and bright and gorgeous!

Not one, but two “Mountain Crystals” are a huge part of this composition.  As soon as she saw this bead design, CN knew they would be perfect for this bracelet, and she made the effort to obtain them directly from Switzerland as soon as they were available there.  Aren’t we lucky that we can get them here now, even for such a short time?!

The “Two Plus Two” that is the stunning centerpiece for this bracelet was a gift from her husband.  It adds a touch of warmth to the heart of this bracelet, and it’s dramatic form is beautifully displayed by the otherwise stark,  white composition.  I love the contrast between the softly burnished gold rings and the deeply textured and distressed finish of the sterling silver rings.  It’s deceptively simple.  As everyone knows, beautiful, simple design is the most difficult to achieve.

With the limited release of the World Tour beads here in Canada, CN chose to add a pair of “Seed Beads” to the end of the bracelet, near the lock.  This feels almost industrial, and marries the glass and stone of the main design to the functionality of the lock.  It’s a wonderful use of this unusual bead.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Freja Lock”, “Seed Bead”, “White Paper Fold”, Mountain Crystal”, White Bubbles”, “Stopper”, “Milky Quartz”, “White Stripe”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “Two Plus Two 18k gold and sterling”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “White Stripe”, “Milky Quartz”, “Stopper”, “White Bubbles”, “Mountain Crystal”, “White Paper Fold”, “Seed Bead”.

Thank you for allowing us to share your bracelet, CN!



Happy Easter from Tartooful

Today’s the day that the Trollbunny visits Tartooful:  it’s the very last day to complete the Trollbunny Hunt, and fill out an entry for our Limited Edition Trollbeads Easter Egg!  Be sure to get your entry in by 4:00 pm when we do the official draw.

Tomorrow we will all be spending time with our families, hunting eggs with the kidlets, enjoying brunch on the patio (a girl can dream) and celebrating the holiday… so we thought we’d better take take to wish you a Happy Easter today!  As a special treat, here’s Cristi’s latest creation:  her Easter 2012 bracelet design:

Of course, what Easter bracelet would be complete without one of the adorable new Bunnies from the Spring 2012 collection?  We prefer the “Baby Bunny” sitting up on a Fantasy Necklace, and this sweet “Jumping Baby Rabbit”featured  on a bracelet.

It’s still a little chilly through the west coast spring sunshine, so “Dichroic Ice” is a perfect fit!  Not only does it feel seasonally cool and bright, but it has exactly the right palette of Easter tones:  soft yellow, lavender, pink, spring green, periwinkle blue & turquoise.

Any of the new Limited Edition Easter eggs would look wonderful on this composition… they are such a treat – all week people have been snapping them up!  I particularly like to see them tucked into the small side of a decorative bracelet clasp, so that they act as a tasseled accent.

…Wishing you & your Families a Happy Easter – we hope the Trollbunny is good to you!

C & C