Gifts for Trollies…

We know, the last minute panic is setting in… but don’t worry!  We still have brilliant solutions for all your favorite Trollies.

1.  Beads, of course!  Don’t forget that we have files on all our customers at the shop with a record of their collection.  We are happy to make suggestions of what pieces will complement their current palette and suit their taste.  Many of our ladies have even made wishlists of their favorite designs!

2.  Trollbeads earrings… These lovely, delicate earrings are sterling silver with sparkling brilliants.  Trollbeads has a collection of beautiful, tiny beads that are designed expressly for their earring series: amethyst, prehnite, onyx, chalcedony and an array of silver designs are easily exchanged to create a new pair of earrings every day…

3.  Trollbeads necklaces make a thoughtful gift… they’re the perfect way to showcase just a select few of a collection, or to enjoy a bead design that otherwise wouldn’t fit into a bracelet design.  We have two types to choose from:  a traditional, simple necklace which holds the beads in the same manner as the bracelet, and the more unusual Fantasy Necklace, which holds the beads stacked vertically and may be worn in a variety of ways.

4.  Play Tray!  This is a must for the serious collector.  This ingenious little device allows us to easily redesign bracelets, and try multiple different combinations without taking the time to re thread beads on the chain.  It’s so important to see the beads from the side, the way one actually does on the bracelet, as they look so completely different from other angles.

5.  If you’re still unsure of what will delight your favorite Trollie, we’re happy to make up a gift certificate in any amount for her to come enjoy the treat of a Tartooful shopping experience.  Always a perfect fit, it’s sure to please!



Trollbeads Inspiration: a beautiful beginning

This month we have started lots of new bracelets, as loved ones prepare for the holidays and buy each other gifts from the heart… but today we started a particularly beautiful one, and I just had to share the composition that this brand new collector has created.  Over the last week or so we’ve met with this client a few times to discuss colour palettes and favorite beads, and today she created the lovely bracelet above.

Like most of us, she can’t take home all of her beads at once – she picked one very special bead to begin, and has “wishlisted” the remainder of the design, hoping that her family will come by the shop to add to her new collection.

I love this design for a few reasons…

first, it’s wonderfully neutral, but far from boring.  It has rich, wonderful colour  and incorporates  brown, black, grey, amber, bone and even white, which makes it so very wearable, and easily modified for changing seasons or simply moods.

She has chosen a variety of textures and patterns – natural faceted stone, smooth glass, detailed silver and even a prism.  The glass are striped, transparent, opaque, swirled and bubbled, but the cohesive palette maintains a clear design theme.

It’s important to incorporate yellow gold into this design, as the client wears both silver and yellow gold, and would like the bracelet to complement the rest of her jewellery.  However, mindful of budget, she has wish listed 18k gold stoppers as a more affordable way to add a touch of the precious metal to her design.  In addition, she has placed a “Silver Trace, Gold” close to the center of the design, where it has great impact.

Clockwise from top:  “18k gold stopper”, “Wildcat”, “White Steel”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “Labradorite”, “Silver Maternity”, “White Stripe”, “Silver Trace, Gold”, “Large Berry”, “Grey Prism”, “Organic Stripe”, “18k gold stopper”.

So which bead do you think she picked to begin?  Which one would you pick?  We always advise people to select the one that is the most unusual and special in the group… the one that they just might never see again.  So…

She picked the “golden” labradorite!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Blue Christmas

Today at the shop we had some fun toying with the new limited edition Christmas beads, making up some “play” bracelets… This “Blue Christmas” design makes me think of my Mum, as she adored rich blues and always wore a stunning lapis lazuli and gold ring.

However, royal blue and gold is a classic, old-world combination, which speaks to the richness of the season.  This bracelet has many wonderfully detailed glass beads, and lots of silvers with touches of gold.  We also included the brand-new silvers “maternity” and “Mistletoe”.  Previous years’ Christmas releases that appear on this composition include “Gold-Silver Trace”, and “Sparkling Star”.

I was particularly delighted to find the perfect “Trinity” with a warm golden dichroic glass stone… It beautifully carries on the gold theme,  echoing the clear honey colored “Unique Amber” bead, and of course all the touches of gold in the silvers… There are even subtle gold shimmers in the designs of the limited edition Blue Christmas beads – in this photograph you can just see the soft, metallic gold swirl.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Gold Heart Clasp”, “18k stopper”, “LE Blue Christmas 2011”, “Mistletoe”, “LE Blue Christmas 2011”, “Trinity”, “LE Blue Christmas 2011”, “Maternity”, “Unique Amber”, “Around The World 18k & silver”, “LE Blue Christmas 2011”, “2+2 gold and silver”, “Gold Silver Trace”, “Sparkling Star”, “LE Blue Christmas 2011”, “Stars 18k and silver”, “LE Blue Christmas 2011”, “18k stopper”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Winter White

The arrival of the new, Christmas 2011 limited edition beads meant lots of new design experiments in the red & green and blue & white palettes… but I was also inspired to create some wonderful new bracelets featuring gold… there is a beautiful blue & gold bead, a rich, ruby red & gold and of course, the ivory white and gold…



Winter whites are traditionally a little warmer than their Summer counterparts – they lean more towards ivory or cream, to be more flattering to our paler, cold weather complexions.  Winter whites feel rich and glamorous, channeling James Bond girls, Gstaad ski bunnies, 70’s disco queens and scenes from Dr Zhivago.  These are whites that beg to be paired with gold.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Pearl Lock”, “Organic Stripe”, “2+2 gold & silver”, “Unique Amber”, “Around the World gold & silver”, “Conch”, “Zanzibar”, “Golden Quartz”, “Mistletoe”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2011 – white & gold”, “Stars – gold & silver”, “Unique Amber”, “Gold spacer – retired”, “Silver Mountain”.


Isn’t it funny how a bead can kind of creep up on you?

There have been so many times that I’ve seen a bead design and thought “ho-hum…on the right bracelet it’ll look great, but it’s not for me”… only to see it in a completely different light a few months later.  Perhaps it’s a matter of context:  the season, or the colour family that is speaking to me at the time… But for whatever reason, I’ve learned not to completely dismiss any of Troll’s designs.

A good example is the “Diamond Bead, Pink”… Last Christmas I welcomed it into the collection, with it’s gorgeous colour and huge drama – but I didn’t really see at as a bead that I would want for my own bracelet.  Then this example arrived at the shop and I was smitten!  It’s a softer shade of raspberry than usual, and simply lovely.

I’ve seen a few truly amazing raspberry bracelets this year, and lots of original colour combinations:  pink & silver grey, pink & white, pink, pink and more pink… but how about pink and gold?  Stunning.

Sigh.  This may mean I’ll have to start a new bracelet…


Trollbeads Project: Pomegranates & Copper

So this is how my little collection of red, pink & coppery toned beads is looking in the wake of all the recent changes on my now-blue bracelet… I’m energized to now make sense of these “orphan” beads and create something wonderful.  Seeking inspiration….

I recalled the colours of my family’s Bokhara textiles, lovingly collected during our time in Turkey in the 70’s… natural, mineral-drenched hues of copper, persimmon, pomegranate, chestnut, and chocolate… The beautifully woven carpets had a subtle shimmer to them, with the colours varying in different lights.

I remember the light, warm golden colour of the Mediterranean earth, the copper smiths’ wares on the curving, cobble stoned streets of Ankara’s old town, the red tiled roofs, and the ruby red pomegranate seeds that stained my fingers bright pink… I think I will take the rich palette of that time and place as my inspiration.

Looking over the beads on our display, I grouped a few that felt right with the current bracelet to see how it might look, and I feel like I’m on the right track:

There are lots of other beads that I’d like to try out as well:  For example, “Brown Desert”,  “Goldstone”  and “Golden Topaz” all could be wonderful… Perhaps a “Pink Prism”, and I think a warm caramel coloured “Amber” is a must…

Stay tuned…


Trollbeads Inspiration: Cathy’s Bracelet Evolution

Inspired by the astonishing blues of the new collection, I’ve been tweaking the design of my own bracelet.  It has always been a little quirkier than the beautiful bracelets designed by tartooful’s clients – with beads that have been chosen by my children, special editions and retireds that I couldn’t bear to part with, and lots of the regular collection that came and went, depending on what our clientele needed on a particular day!  It might change a little from season to season, with a bit more cranberry red for Winter, and more soft aqua for Summer…but it has always had a certain personality about it.

Enough words – I’ve dug out snaps showing the evolution over the last couple of years…

A soft & pretty beginning.  I picked the “Bee on Hive” as I hold the honeybee dear as my personal totem.  Greg gave me the “Heart”.  I chose “Sparrow” to remember my Mum, with her garden full of songbirds, and “Silver Mountain” spoke to me of my North Shore home.

By August of 2010 it had changed significantly… I fell in love with a rare, aqua coloured “Green Prism”, and it stuck.  I chose a Limited Edition “Peacock Pearl” and “Green Chinese Jade”… and snapped up “Green Dot”, “King & Queen”, and “Fur Dot” when they were retired.  I loved the warmth that the “Golden Cave”, “Smoky Topaz” and “Silver Bead with Garnets” added.

After the Autumn Collection 2010 was released I added some of the new designs, including “Cool Dusk”, “Honey Dawn”, “Azure Bubbles” and “Chalcedony”.  I liked the way the mellow “Honey Dawn” worked with my “Alabaster” amber.

This is from Christmas 2010… I’ve added a Limited Edition Christmas in Australia glass, and “Picasso Jasper”…(gunmetal grey with chestnut brown veins – love it!)… Also a retired “Red-Pink Prism.  You’ll notice that the new Autumn beads were almost all purchased off my bracelet by then… only the “Chalcedony” survived until Christmas!

As Spring approached I added one of the softly beautiful “Kimono” Limited Editions, and exchanged the pomegranate red tones, for the cooler aqua tones again.  “Dichroic Ice” was a birthday gift from my daughter Odette, and Smiling Cylinder was from my smiling son Eric.”

Over the Summer this year I made the decision to break the collection into additional bracelets -the red was just too warm feeling to wear all the time.  I was wearing lots of muted navy and cool greys, and these colours just seemed to go with everything in my wardrobe.  At times I would simplify my bracelet down to just one bead.

I had always had a very delicate, light palette on the bracelet, but by the end of the Summer I was most enjoying the richer tones – the iridescent greens, olive tones, teal and darker blues.  I was looking forward to seeing the new collection…

I was toying with adding a few sapphire blues, including a “Moon Ocean” and replacement “Azure Bubbles” and “Black Flower Mosaic” – and then I saw the new “Blue Goldstone” and was truly inspired… This is how my bracelet looks today – but in another few months?  Who knows?  Another day I’ll show you what I’ve done with all my red beads… (yum)


Trollbeads Inspiration: Cathy’s Update Begins

A new shipment of beads arrived at the gallery today, and I decided to begin my bracelet project.  I’m taking my peacock pearl as inspiration for this winter, and would like to move the colour balance gently from greens to deep peacock blues.  I’d like to keep the medium blue tones that I currently have, but just add a little more drama and “oomph”.

So today, I decided to add this “Black Flower Mosaic”, which has various shades of blue dichroic glass dots, but no gold, orange, pink or purple.  I’ve had this design on my bracelet a few times before, but always gave it up for customers who fell in love with it.  (This time it seems very settled on my bracelet..)

I also decided to add this lovely “Blue Goldstone”, and nestled it in next to my limited edition “Christmas in Australia” bead.  The sparkles on this new bead are just amazing, particularly in natural light…

So here’s the overall result of the first step of the update… comparing to the “before” photo at the top, it’s yet another reminder of how a couple of tiny changes can have a huge impact…


Trollbeads Inspiration: RT’s collection update

Just *look* at this amazing eye candy!  This is the gorgeous collection of RT, who has a knack for building compositions with drama and presence.  She was in recently and made a few little adjustments here and there to her midnight blue bracelet and her hot-raspberry bracelet, so I seized the opportunity to photograph the changes.

This hot pink bracelet has a boudoir feeling about it… I think it’s the combination of the pink, lavender and the black of the “Triple Pearl, Black”.  I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it feels very “Agent Provocateur”!  The Pink & Orange Unique cranks the heat up a few more notches, and the rare “Raspberry Armadillo Unique” is a power bead.  The complex and organic patterns of the silvers offer further interest and depth to the design.

…Just delicious, isn’t it?

This bracelet has a very different feel about it:  it’s a subtle, mysterious and highly creative composition, which utilizes lots of rare beads in an unusual combination of blue, celadon and black.  The sharp-eyed reader will spot lots of World Tour beads in the group – I’m particularly fond of the little silver mushrooms bead, and will have to hunt one down for myself!  The blue dichroic glass in the “Black Flower Mosaic” and the “Three Flowers” echoes the indigo blue of “Midnight Flower” perfectly.  I love the mix of celadon and soft grey with the indigo and black… the “Silver Mountain”, “Kimono Bead”, “Trinity”, and “Diamond Flower Limited Edition – Desert Flower” all have that subtle beach glass tone about them, which lifts the bracelet and gives it balance, life and lightness.  Of course, one can’t discuss this bracelet without mentioning the “Shadow Flower” silver bead.  It’s unexpected and fresh, and adds huge drama to this already gorgeous composition.

So lovely… (and her bracelets are too!)

Thank you again, RT!


P.S.  two sleeps… 😉

Trollbeads Inspiration: E’s Indigo Blues

This lovely bracelet is subtle, soft and just right for our laid back, denim-y West Coast way of life.  It belongs to E, a sweetly exuberant young Mother whose happy, positive outlook fills the room when she walks in…

I love the blend of soft, silvery greys with the rich, indigo blues, and the light contrast of the crisp whites.  She selected the “Fish Lock”, “Waves”, and the “Mermaid” as a nod to the watery tones of the composition.  She has the initials of her children on the bracelet, which adds a personal element, and you’ll see in the photo above, the silver “Baby” bead, lustily crying away… It’s a humorous badge of honour for this young Mum, for whom nights of interrupted sleep are still fresh memories!  Sharp eyed readers of this blog may note that the she selected the “Trinity” bead with the distinctive white glass dot – isn’t this just the perfect bracelet for it?

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Desert Flower”, “Trinity”, Light Blue Shadow”, “White Stripe”, “Waves”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Initial”, “Whitecap”, “Baby”, “Silver Mountain”, “Initial”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Mermaid”, “White Bubbles”, “Labradorite”.

Thank you for letting us share your bracelet, E!


P.S.  (three sleeps til the new 2011 Autumn Collection is released – but who’s counting?)