Trollbeads Inspiration: Pistachio & Violets


purple-vineOver the past week we’ve been privileged to play with some of the loveliest uniques we’ve ever seen.  Trollbeads’ talented artisans have outdone themselves yet again, stunning us with incredible colour combinations, and delicate patterns that feel as though they must have been created by pixies.

buttercupOne of the combinations we’ve been inspired to play together – purple and green –  is an old favorite… but it feels fresh with a shot of new colour life, thanks to some gorgeous pistachio coloured uniques.  These designs, with their edgy greens and buttercup yellows, would also be perfect on a Spring bracelet filled with pinks & apricots.


Here these unusual greens sing with violets in a range of tones from light and delicate to deep and rich.

bubblesThe palette brings to mind candied violets and pistachio macaroons… sweet, luxurious indulgences that are just a little over the top.  We paired the glass with a few of the new floral designs from the Autumn collection.  Each of these flower themed beads features a tiny white pearl, nestled in silver.  Divine!

amber-flowersWe selected this “Amber Violets” for it’s particularly lovely, translucent blossoms.  They are so perfectly formed – one can peek below each petal and see the throat of the violet reaching down into the buttery, amber glass.  We’ve seen a wide range of expressions in this design, and they are each pretty in their own way.


It’s easy to overlook the importance of the choice of lock…  but look how perfectly matched this lock is for the mood and palette of this design!


Note:  all of the uniques on this bracelet are individually photographed and online in our Tartoofultoo online shop…


I do adore this colour combination, for it’s mouth waterlingly tart greens, it’s sweet lilacs and of course the “fizz” of a perfect complementary palette.  However, in the end what I think is smartest about this bracelet is its wearability, and flexibility… I can easily imagine wearing this bracelet through all seasons… and could remix the colours in a heartbeat to have an amber and lilac bracelet, or a green and pink bracelet.  They’re just great colours to have in the bead box.





Trollbeads Inspiration: AV’s Garden of Gold


Wow.  Just look at this golden garden that AV has been patiently growing on her bracelet…

One bead at a time, she has slowly acquired a stunning group of Trollbeads’ 18 karat designs.  There really is nothing quite like gold Trollbeads… they not only glow with a richness that reaches back across the centuries, but they even feel warm to the touch, instantly giving your skin’s warmth back to you.  These beads are powerful elements that don’t need too many companions to create a gorgeous composition.  Here AV has combined a few jewel tones with a little more gold in the “Third Eye Chakra” and of course a lot of sparkle in the “Diamond bead, White”.

It’s simple, powerful, personal and beautiful.



ps.  Don’t forget to pop by our Trollbeads Event on Thursday – only two more sleeps to go!!!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Dress Up Like a Tree

red-cosy…What Trees Know

red-cosy-danglelooking out the window at the garden this morning one colour stands out.  It’s clear that the trees and plants in my garden know a thing or two about dressing up for this season.  Everywhere there are flourishes of rich ruby red.  It’s in the lacy leaves of the maples, in the berries dotted about, and in the last stubborn flowers of the year.

red-cosy-berryThis warm and winter-y colour always inspires me… From cosy knit sweaters on a crisp morning, to woolly plaid blankets thrown over a comfy chesterfield (that’s a sofa for you non-Canucks…)  to my cranberry coloured duffle coat with antler toggles…

red-cosy-front…It’s all very “Autumn”.

Wonderful, isn’t it?  Really, for me, red makes up for the fact we’re going into the dark months.  This is the time of year that I wear my red-pink-cinnamon bracelet the very most, and I just love it every time I put it on.


This bracelet is one we made up for display at the gallery… so if there’s anything that catches your eye be sure to look for it at Tartoofultoo online shop – or give us a ring at 604.924.0122 or drop us a line at





Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 24


Today I decided to return to the approach that I originally took, way back in the very beginning of my collection.

now5Essentially I just wanted to reach for beads that I loved and compose something that was simply an expression of what I felt like that day.  It turns out that today, what I felt like was mostly golden bronze and lilac.

now3A quick glance over the photos from the past month let me know that I had fortunately hit on a palette that hadn’t been explored yet, so off I went… this is an easy group of shades for me experiment with… They are naturally complementary on the colour wheel and so enhance each other through proximity.  Together, they are so rich and beautiful.

now2Yep, this feels like today.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster clasp, retired version”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Silver Bead with Garnets” (retired), “Chalcedony” (retired), “Waves”, “Unique Amber”, “Auspicious – Hong Kong World Tour”, “Unique”, “King & Queen” (retired), “Unique”, “Carved Flowers” (retired), “Amethyst – Summer Stones Limited Edition”, “Trinity”, “Unique”, “Jugend”, “Lilac Jade – Chinese Limited Edition”, “Zanzibar”, “Golden Cave”, “Mushrooms – Lithuania World Tour”, “Unique”, “Peacock Pearl – Limited Edition”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Last Troll Standing

Last Troll StandingLast Troll  Standing

Today is a short post – but what a great concept!  This bracelet is by the amazing LD… and I LOVE her inspiration for this design.

What if you could only keep one bracelet out of your entire collection?  What would you include in that one, precious design?  What would be your “Last Troll Standing”

Makes one stop and think, doesn’t it?  I’m definitely going to make up a bracelet like this…  LD has chosen a mix of the rare, precious, retired and simply beautiful.  I see a retired and elusive “Siberian Tiger”, a stunning Amber unique, a “Labradorite” that is so clear I could read the newspaper through it, and of course, some delicious gold.  What would be on your bracelet?  Show us your designs!


Trollbeads Inspiration: LD’s Unexpected & Beautiful Palettes

Orange Swirls Filmall photos courtesy of LD – thank you!

Today’s rich mine of inspiration comes courtesy of one of our lovely Tartoofulers from the USA… she sent me this amazing photo, along with a few words about how she came to collect Trollbeads:

” I started because my husband gave me a complete Pandora bracelet – I couldn’t get it on and off – broke my nails – etc.  I literally never wore it.   So I started hunting around for something else, and stumbled into Troll on-line.  I just never connected with Pandora, and don’t like it to this day….Definitely the beauty of the beads is what started me down this path.  But then I think it was the puzzle of the beads – how to create new things out of these disparate creations that might not be expected, that kept me going….”

Butterfly Glitter Garden“Butterfly Glitter Garden”

Having begun her collection in 2011, LD has since explored a few of the fabled retired beads, such as the Tibetan series, Russian Pink Amber and the Siberian Tiger.  Many more of the production beads and creative uniques that are are currently being produced by Trollbeads are now in her collection, and even a few gold designs grace her bracelets.  However, what really inspires us is her wonderful sense of colour, and the way she combines textures and unexpected palettes.

Buddha's Playground“Buddha’s Playground”

“I’m completely captivated by Troll – I love to photograph the bracelets, take them apart, start over.  Just endless fun for me.”

The above bracelet is a perfect example of a totally fresh colour combination – periwinkle and tangerine is not an intuitive palette, but here it is drop dead gorgeous and the best use of the “Royal Orange” that I’ve ever seen!

Powder Puffs“Powder Puffs”

LD doesn’t shy away from hard-to use beads, but artfully combines them with neutrals of golden yellow, ivory, vicuna and olive.  In the composition above, she creates a creamy bracelet with an edge of zesty lime…

Messenger and Crane“Messenger and Crane”

“Sometimes I take a bead I’m not wild about – and challenge myself to make something beautiful out of something that  may not start out that way to me.  The Messenger and Crane bracelet started out that way – the grey Jasper is really pretty awful – but in combination – a treasure.”

This soft, natural take on aqua is a palette that speaks to us at Tartooful, and what a beautiful example this is.  Note outstanding beads here such as the “Tourmalated Quartz”, retired “Crane” and some of the European release limited edition stones.  The dichroic glass accents in the “King and Queen” “troll with Big Feet” and “Trinity” are particularly effective in tying together the palette of various turquoises and greens.

Faerie Glen, SkyeFaerie Glen, Skye

Here is yet another example of an unexpected and lovely colour combination… with oxblood red, rich green, teal, caramel and lightest blue, it sounds unlikely – but what a successful experiment!  Here some hard-to-find beads shine, such as the “Green Lilac Armadillo”, “Noh Masks”, spectacular “Ornament Unique” and a petite “Small and Beautiful Unique”.

Jade Garden“Jade Garden”

What a fresh & delicious photo!  It’s like a snappy green apple, isn’t it?  This makes me want to go play with the new “Canadian Jades” on the display at Tartooful and experiment, combining them with clear lemony and butter yellow ambers right away…. This is such a wearable bracelet – dressed up or down, day or evening, summer or winter it would feel right with practically everything.

LD has one, last, wonderful photo for us, but you’ll just have to come back tomorrow to see it.  It’s so good, it deserves a post all to itself.  So Stay tuned…

A *huge* thank you to LD for trusting us with some of her recent acquisitions, and for sharing her lovely collection with all our readers!


Trollbeads Inspiration: The K Bracelet


“All men have the stars.. but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You–you alone–will have the stars as no one else has them..”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

IMG_0341We’ve seen the extraordinary “Happy Universe” 18k gold and silver bead used in many different types of composition, but perhaps nowhere so effectively as here, on KT’s very first bracelet.  This stunning bracelet is a work of love, having been designed, redesigned, tweaked and adjusted over many months.

IMG_0337She has carefully chosen outstanding examples of lots of desirable beads, including this boldly included “Tourmalated Quartz”, shown at right.  The center three beads of this design – “Happy Universe”, “Tourmalated Quartz”, and “African Pride” –  are so dramatic and graphic, that they promise a strong composition.

IMG_0342Did I mention there’s a Rhinoceros?  Unquestionably, strong.















IMG_0332A monochrome bracelet of stark black and white might have been the easy and classic method of designing around the bold center beads… however,  KT made this design all her own by surrounding them instead with a a palette of glorious colour.

IMG_0333Subtle yet rich hues of ruby, olive, chestnut, copper and teal are sophisticated and vibrant.  It’s an unexpected blend of colours that somehow sings beautifully together.  Every bead has something wonderful about it… the Labradorite features a bright lilac flash – the only one that we have ever seen.  The Azure and Organic bubbles are deeply dimpled and show an astonishing range of colours.  The Blue Desert is a lovely bright aqua, and has lots of rose gold sparkle…

IMG_0335Perhaps in the end its the complexity of the Bubbles designs that allows them all to work together.  There are simply so many shades and tones within each of them, that they are forgiving of colours at the edge of the palette, and bring them all into the fold.  Notice how this Azure Bubbles plays with both the Lake Eye and the pop of ruby behind.

Of all KT’s lovely bracelets, this one speaks most strongly to me of *her*.  It is the bracelet’s rare beauty, and haunting palette, naturally – but more than that, it is so very individual.  From each single bead, to the very unexpected way that they are designed, this bracelet could only have been made by KT.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Blue Velvet


DSCN6111When I was a girl I had a traditional jewellery box that must have already been gently aged when I was given it.  Its parchment coloured, gilded exterior promised magic within, and when opened it revealed the most lovely, delicate shade of blue velvet lining.  It was soft, a little worn, and paler in some spots from the years, but I loved everything about it.  Can you imagine the places that jewellery box took me in my imagination?  I carefully stored my very best treasures in it.

DSCN6112The shade of blue that is featured in this bracelet reminds me of that soft velvet lining… it’s not a definite shade, it changes subtly from bead to bead and even within each piece, but as a whole it’s soft, subtle, and feels gently natural.

DSCN6110I’ve admired this type of blue before, I called it “Beautiful Blue“.  It’s a rich, medium tone that is sparse in the regular collection, so to design an entire bracelet takes patience and a generous does of Uniques.  I like it best paired with other very natural neutrals.

DSCN6115The new “Dendritic Agate” is a good companion in this composition, with its cool slate mood.  I particularly like the contrast of its flecked stone against the transparent and shimmering glass of “Trinity”.  Note the lovely Unique above, with its ivory background, touches of sage green and pops of “Beautiful Blue”… its a treat!

DSCN6112For metal beads I added several dichroic glass designs, including “Trinity”, “Carved Flowers” and a pair of “Three Flowers”.   I also decided to play off the delightful, lemon-yellow base of this unique bead, and added a couple of touches of 18k gold.  “Cells” 18k is at left, and at the very top photo one can see the dramatic “2+2 silver and gold”, which is just recently retired.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Sand Beach”, “White Paper Fold”, “Three Flowers”, “Universal Unique”, “Cells, 18k”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Universal Unique”, “Trinity”, “Dendritic Agate”, “2+2 silver and gold”, “Moon Ocean”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Carved Flowers”, “Universal Unique”, “Three Flowers”, “Conch”, “Sand Beach”.

This is the type of composition that I love to wear everyday… soft, neutral, so pleasing to the eye, with lots of interesting little design treats…



Trollbeads Inpsiration: New Toys!


DSCN5235By now our Trollies will have unwrapped their holiday gifts from their families… and under many trees this year were Trollbeads, carefully picked by husbands and wives, mothers and fathers and of course, little clusters of excited children.  We always love to see the little ones come in, either with a parent or sometimes all on their own, ready to pick just the right thing for Mom.

DSCN5243  Perhaps you’re one of those fortunate ladies, who received new Troll toys for Christmas?  Have you started to play with the new pieces yet, and see what works with your collection, and how it will all fit in?  Your new beads bear a Christmas story of love.

DSCN5233Take your time and try lots of different combinations before you settle on an arrangement…. I always find that the addition of even one or two new beads requires rethinking the whole bracelet to ensure a nicely balanced composition.

DSCN5232The gorgeous bracelet that we are enjoying today belongs to one of our lovely, local Trollies, N.O..  It’s a stunning composition… rich, dramatic, beautiful, and totally luxe with lots of gold and hard-to-find raspberry uniques.

DSCN5234It feels as though it was painstakingly designed to look precisely like this… carefully planned from the beginning with this amazing design in mind.  However, the truth is that N.O. chooses her beads purely on whether she loves each bead.

DSCN5244The result is a fluid collection that has seen many different compositions, depending on the mood of the designer.  It’s a wonderful approach, as it keeps the process of acquiring new beads light and fun – and each bracelet is an inspired delight.


DSCN5229N.O.’s bracelets always feel fresh, as they only stay in the same arrangement for a few months at most… by that time she will have found a few more treasures and will be inspired to try something new, and create something beautiful using the newest arrivals in her jewellery box.

It’s a great reminder to the rest of us to actively enjoy our collections, redesign often and only pick beads that we love, knowing that if we do, they’ll all fit in beautifully.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Pearl Flower” clasp, “Gold Spacer” (retired), “Red-Pink Prism” (retired), “18k Lotus”, “Christmas Limited Edition”, “Heart Spacer” (retired), “Diamond Bead, Gold”, “Ruby with gold core”, “Stars, 18k and diamonds”, “Universal Unique”, “18k and diamonds Bougainvillea”, “Pink Bud”, “Unique Raspberry Armadillo”, “2+2 18k”, “Universal Unique Fern”, “18k Endless”, “Diamond Bead, Pink”, “Mountain Crystal” (world tour Switzerland), non-troll, “Christmas Limited Edition”, “18k initial N”, “Red-Pink Prism” (retired), “18k spacer” (retired).



Trollbeads Inspiration: My Kind of Christmas Treat


With Christmas just around the corner, we’re all thinking about little treats at the moment.  Who wouldn’t want to unwrap one of these little indulgences on the day?

necklace2The first thing to catch one’s eye on this composition is the superstar 18k gold “Endless”… The textured swirl is warm and luxurious, and juxtaposes perfectly with that edge of polished shimmer.  Absolutely delicious!

necklace1Next my eye wanders to this glowing bead:  The “Diamond Bead with Gold Core”… It’s a masterful expression of the power of simplicity.  The gold core is overlaid with perfectly clear glass, in which are suspended faceted zircons.  That catch the light  beautifully from every direction.

necklace4These focal point beads could enhance almost any colour combination, but here the talented Cristi has added warm, chocolatey notes with the “Smoky Quartz” and walnut toned “Unique Amber”.  The multi white “White Paper Fold” plays nicely with the pearl.

necklace6“Prayer” was introduced as part of the spiritual collection.  This piece is designed to cradle a bead in the various figures’ arms, and is perfect as a dramatic silver pendant on a Fantasy Necklace.  Here it holds a sophisticated, faceted “Smoky Quartz”.


…Such a delicious Christmas treat… yum yum yum….