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: Golden Light

IMG_6813IMG_6812Have you seen the change? 

As we lazily drift towards the end of the Summer, the light is subtly changing.  The shadows stretch a little longer as the sun dips lower in the sky.  Perhaps you are reading this from a point further South, where the change of season is not as noticeable – but here in Vancouver, Canada we enjoy long Summer evenings that remain light until late… often the sun is still tinting the sky at 10:30pm.  As the Autumn approaches our sun disappears into the Pacific much earlier, and we are now lighting the lanterns in our gardens and on our patio tables as early as 8:00pm.  Despite the languid heat of the days, the sun is just a little less blindingly clear and has taken on a hazy, golden hue that is unique to this season of transition.  The gilding that this Autumnal light gives my surroundings made me think of the cognac, toffee and honey colours of amber!



IMG_6806The diversity in Trollbeads’ amber is always inspiring to me, so it never takes a lot of prompting for me play together fresh amber compositions.  I find them to be the most adaptable and useful of all the Trollbeads categories.  I place the buttery alabaster ones with whites, pastels and natural stone textures.  The cherry ambers are the jewels of my pomegranate and copper bracelet, and the cognac and honey tones ones light up every kind of green and blue.  Their glowing golden tones can offer the perfect complementary note to practically any colour, it’s just a matter of selecting the right one for the job. 

In today’s bracelet I selected a range of mossy greens and slate blues that are inspired by the natural beauty of the woods and beaches in my part of the world.  These are the colours of our ocean, our lakes, our mountain streams, our lush forests and our sky. 


IMG_6814IMG_6816Just as the late Summer sun gilds our trees and mountaintops, these familiar colours come to life with the addition of warm, golden amber.  What could have been a coolly blue and green bracelet now simply glows.  I love the way that the greens now seem more brilliant, and the blues more intense.  Note how rich the “Organic Bubbles” is… Always a beautiful and fascinating bead, the contrast with the neighbouring golden peach amber makes the blue undertones in the green come rushing out!  I set the natural tone for the bracelet with a trio of faceted stones in the center position:  “Labradorite”, “Golden Quartz” and “Sapphire” make a powerful starting point.  I wanted the attention to be on the colour range in this composition, so I selected a series of silvers that all share a knotwork theme… “Three Siblings, “Lucky Knot”, “Trefoil Knot” and even “The Midgaard Serpent” have a simple and elegant aesthetic that allow the eye to focus on the palette.



Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Magical Lamp”, “Three in One”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Unique Amber”, “Aqua Edge Pumpkin”, “Three Siblings”, “Blue Desert”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Labradorite”, “Golden Quartz”, “Sapphire”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Blue Desert”, “The Midgaard Serpent”, “Aqua Edge Petals”, “Unique Amber”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Lucky Knot”, “Dewdrops”, “Golden Cave”.





Trollbeads Inspiration: Starter Bracelets III

Winding Path Bracelet

Today the we look at a few more ideas of how to go about the sometime daunting project of starting a Trollbeads bracelet.  Cristi & I were chatting about it today at the shop, and we agreed that it’s really very difficult to go wrong with Troll.  There’s no “right or “wrong” – only bead combinations that make you happy or not.  In this case, it’s all about you…

The “Winding Path” bracelet pictured above showcases the beautiful knot forms that are found in many of the silver beads in the Trollbeads collection.  It includes:  “Freya Knot Lock”, “Black Silk”, “Three in One”, “Brown Dot”, “Three Siblings”, “Milan”, “Lucky Knot”, “Grey Wolf”.  Total:  C$385.00

The Holly Bracelet

This bracelet is one I designed with a dear friend in mind.  She has a knack for living gracefully, for savoring the smallest of everyday details and is a total pleasure every time I see her.  Among her many talents, she is an amazing cook, and shares her passion in her blog: She once told me that she was inspired by the style of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” character, Holly Golightly – hence the bracelet’s name.  This distinctive shade of fuschia makes her heart sing, so her bracelet has lots of it’s rich tones – both in real life, and in the photo above.  The beads include:  “Lace Lock”, “Silver Trace, Pink”, “Heart Print”, “Red Prism”, “Heart”,  “Pink Bud”, “Hearts, Large”, “Red Feather”. Total:C$393

Autumn Bracelet

This bracelet was inspired by the golden light of a late afternoon in the Autumn.  The Autumn dangle, with it’s mysterious swirls of subtle colour, makes a wonderful centerpiece… and the golden amber tones of the shoulder beads set this bracelet up perfectly for the addition of rich purple tones, lapis blues or emerald greens.  This bracelet includes:  “Dichroic Flower Lock”, “Translucent Flower”, “Large Berry”, “Autumn Dangle”, “Harvest”, “Beige Flower”.  Total: C$380.00

Winter Bracelet

This bracelet is apropos for the season, but more than that features a classic and very wearable white and gold color theme.  Of course the collector may go on to add other beads in any color that they choose, but clean white is always a dramatic way to begin.  This bracelet includes:  “Flower Pearl Lock”, “Snow”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Winter Dangle”, “Crown Chakra”, “Small Berry”.  Total:  C$355.00

Lavender Bracelet

Lavender is one of my favorite flowers, and one I have fond memories of growing by the bushel in a garden I one had in Victoria.  This bracelet is inspired by lavender and the warm places it grows.  This bracelet includes: “Dichroic Flower Lock”, “Pink Desert”, “Hydrangea”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Ladybug”, “Blue Desert”.  Total: C$309.00

If you have any questions about Trollbeads or would like to purchase please don’t hesitate to contact us:

3183 Edgemont Boulevard, North Vancouver