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 Inspiration: Singing Fireflies


Today’s bracelet inspiration comes from one of our dear customers… she has an eye for the unusual, and creates compositions of the softest, most subtle tones that simply glow.

km-azureShe is particularly attracted to this shade of green… not green exactly, but a haze of celadon, with highlights of gold that give it an overall green feel.  It matches her eyes, and simply makes her happy every time she sees it.  This “Azure Bubbles” is precisely the right colour and has found a home on nearly every one of her creations.

km-moonstoneIn this design the objective was to create a two colour composition using the softest lavender and pale mossy green.  With natural stones such as “Chalcedony” and “Labradorite” to play with, as well as this stunning “Beige Moonstone”, KM had a beautiful selection of beads to use as a foundation for the design.

km-purple-flower-mosiacAs she added more elements she realized that the bracelet was the perfect composition for “Fireflies”… with its subtle palette of warm ivory, sage green and lilac, it is easy to overwhelm with colours that are too strong.  Balanced well by “Beige Moonstone”, it absolutely sings in this perfectly matched, soft and pretty design.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Freja lock”, “Peacock Pearl”, “”Lavender Prism”, “Blue Desert”, “Sparrow”, “Deep Bubbles”, “Beige Moonstone”, “Chalcedony”, “Zanzibar”, “Labradorite”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Labradorite”, “Carved Flowers”, “Faceted Chalcedony”, “Fireflies”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Heart”, “Universal Unique”, “Grey Prism”.

Thank you, KM!


Trollbeads Inspiration: RT’s Troll Tree

Here’s a first peek at a composition in progress by the incomparable RT…

She is playing with two slightly different interpretations of the the feminine and lovely colour, lavender.  Anchored by a beautiful series of unique beads, and featuring her signature big, bold silvers these bracelets are distinctly RT.

One bracelet is made up of glass on the pink side of lavender and soft grey.  Glass such as “Grandma’s Favorite” and “Whirling Adventure” pair beautifully with the sophisticated black pearls of “Triple Pearl Black” and the “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”.  The exceptionally pretty “Chalcedony” feels luminous.

Isn’t “Grandma’s Favorite” a stunning design?  I’m always astonished at how beautiful this bead is when viewed closely – try turning it on it’s side… looking at it from this unexpected angle gives it a totally new appearance.

The second bracelet is a blend of aqua and lavender, with a gorgeous “Troll Tree”  as a centerpiece.  This is an unusual choice for a bracelet, as it is easily large enough to make a dramatic pendant.  However, RT is not one to shy away from a bold statement, and as you can see, it’s a definite success.

RT pulls this delicate colour palette together with a painstakingly acquired series of uniques that incorporate both aqua and lavender.  The stripes, swirls and dots of these one of a kind beads are mesmerizing and beautiful – a gorgeous reminder of just how talented the glass artists at Trollbeads really are.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted as RT continues to create these lovely new designs … C.

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