Trollbeads Inspiration: The Calm Between Storms…


IMG_0855Well, here we are in the very busiest time of year… the gallery is hopping with holiday shoppers, the streets are bustling, and the sound of live music can be heard drifting through the Village.  Most of us are dashing from one errand to another, busily preparing our homes for the upcoming gatherings, and attending various holiday celebrations that are already underway.  It can all be a little overwhelming… but it’s part of the rhythm of the seasons and what fun to have a such a joyful time as this in the very darkest time of year.


The key to maintaining sanity seems to be to take little breaks, and enjoy those moments of calm between the storms…


…So enjoy dressing up, designing and wearing your most extravagant bracelets ever – but today, on this quiet Sunday before Christmas, take a moment with a cup of tea and savour this calming bracelet…How fitting that it features a number of beads from the “Balance of Nature” kit.

IMG_0856This Autumn 2015 series has intrigued, delighted and, at times baffled us at Tartooful.  On the one hand the designs are absolutely gorgeous – exactly the sort of subtle, natural tones with which we love to play.  On the other hand, we are, at times, hard pressed to determine which bead is which – many of the designs can mimic each other in their extreme forms!  Rainbow of luck, Power of Hope and Shades of peace are close relations.  No matter – we love them, whatever their names are…. (“A bead by any other name would look as sweet…”)

IMG_0860 (1)Today I teased together a soft and pretty plum, grey and celadon composition that is designed to be that moment of calm… While it could be seen as hinting at the Spring to come, the subtly earthy tone of the plum, makes me think that this could be an all season bracelet.  I’ve included “Pink Conch” in the crew, as it is surely a cousin to the “Balance” family.  Recently the “Pink Conch” examples that we have been receiving have a lovely olive tone to the stripes that open up new possibilities for that already lovely design.


IMG_0857I’ve included generous helpings of sparkle in this bracelet – nearly half of the beads in the design are ones that dance with gold.  For me, a large part of the appeal of this bracelet is the way these subtle colours play with each other.  On the other hand, I think that without the contrast of the deeply patterned silvers, the distinctive texture of the natural stones, and the brilliant light of the “Dichroic Ice”… it might be too homogenous and fall a little flat.  I’ve found that before when trying to design with all deserts or all azures – they are lovely but they benefit from the addition of contrast.

IMG_0851 (1)

Clockwise from clasp:  “Lace Lock”, “Purple Prism”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Mothers Bouquet”, “Shades of Peace”, “Unique Glass”, “Pink Conch”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Power of Hope”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Rainbow of Luck”, “Tropical Travels”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Ruby Rock”, “Purity”, “Eidelweiss (Switzerland World Tour)”, “White Petals”, “Grey Prism”.

Savour the calm – and then dive into the glorious chaos!


Trollbeads Joy – New Uniques Now In Stock!


new-uniques-4We just received an enormous, absolutely gorgeous shipment of Universal Uniques from Trollbeads Canada… so many different, hard-to-find colours and patterns, we are in heaven.

Naturally, like any good Trollie we right away began playing and building bracelets to see some of the possible combinations for the new designs… This delicate palette of softest pink and fresh green was a pleasure to play with, and simply loved the camera!

new-uniques-5Perhaps it’s because so many of these bead designs are so transparent… they allow the light to pass through and reflect off the polished silver core at the heart of each bead.  The refracted light illuminates each bead, making each one appear to glow from within.

new-uniques-3We paired the glass with iconic winter design silvers such as “Snow”, “Large Berry” and the new “Christmas Tree”.  Who says a Christmas Bracelet has to be red and green?  This warm yet icy combination would suit me just fine….


Clockwise from clasp:  “Lock with buds”, “Universal Unique”, “Autumn Splendour”, “Universal Unique”, “Large Berry”, “Universal Unique”, “Organic Hearts”, “Universal Unique”, “Hearts Within”, “Universal Unique”, “Universal Unique”, “Snow”, “Universal Unique”, “Christmas Tree”, “Universal Unique”, “Universal Unique”.

To see all our new Universal Uniques be sure to stop by our online shop – Tartoofultoo




Trollbeads Inspiration: Mediterranean Blue Christmas


This is one of Cristi’s latest designs, and isn’t it gorgeous?  Full disclosure:  her name for it is “Puttin’ on the Glitz”.  Don’t get me wrong, we love corny at Tartooful – but this is just such a delicately lovely bracelet I couldn’t bear to burden it with that name.  (Sorry Cristi….)

putting-vertical… So I looked at the classical curls of the gold and white Christmas Ornaments, and the brilliantly hot blue of the fresh new Diamond Bead… and what came to my mind was a Mediterranean getaway.  Can’t you see sun burnt grasses, blindingly blue ocean and crisp white houses?  I might have been tempted to channel Doctor Zhivago, with white furs, turtleneck collars and Lara’s golden hair and blue eyes… but really I’d rather make a mental trip to Greece this time of year than Russia – so away we go!

ornate-ornamentThis photo shows how very luxe this design feels, with tons of glitter in the dangle, a large, richly patterned silver, “The Diamond Bead Black” twinkling in the back, and the warm glow of “Silver Trace, Gold”.  (Breakfast Champagne on the patio, anyone?)

putting-on-the-glitz-s-curveThe icy new “Diamond Bead” is a fascinating shade of blue.  It dances the line between turquoise and cerulean, playing beautifully with the turquoise accents in this ornament, the teal unique in the middle and even with much more subtle “Traces”.


Clockwise from Lock:  “Dichroic Flower Lock”, “Traces”, “Limited Edition Christmas Ornament”, “Pearl”, “Silver Trace, Beige-Blue”, “Winter Snow”, “Diamond Bead, Blue”, “Dew Drops”, “Limited Edition Christmas Ornament”, “White Stripe”, “Universal Unique”, “Heart Ball”, “Silver Trace, Gold”, “Limited Edition Christmas Ornament”, “White Paper Fold”, “Diamond Bead, Blue”, “Sweater”, “Golden Quartz”, “Limited Edition Christmas Ornament”, “Cream Armadillo”.

diamond-bead-closeThis lovely composition really speaks to me… I may have to schedule a little time at our Trollbench, playing with my collection to create something fresh for myself.  (Isn’t that the fun of Troll?) I’d love to wear something in this palette using my Fantasy necklace with pearl… wouldn’t it be a perfect accessory going into the holiday season?  So fresh and pretty with denim, but sophisticated  and dressy with a little black dress.

Thank you, Cristi…


Trollbeads Inspiration: “is it me, or are the models getting thinner?”

Many of you have been by to visit our fabulously thin friend… what fun to have a 2011 Limited Edition Trollbeads Skeleton in the shop to play with!  We’ve sampled the various components of the necklace, making up bracelets with the parts, as well as adding so many different types of beads to shake up the look.  It’s such a great toy….

When one of the new 18k gold and diamond “Bougainvillea” beads arrived recently, we couldn’t resist adding it to the skeleton’s already-golden neckline.  This graceful bead features a cascade of tiny buds, opening into blossoms with a diamond at the heart of each one.  It is sparkling, luxurious and truly unique in its design.

Here the golden neck bead that is a part of the skeleton is visible, peeking above the sparkling Bougainvillea.  The pair of them give an ultra-luxe, statement collier to our diminutive model.  Speaking of whom – isn’t it fantastic, the angle that his head tilts, the graceful drop of his hand… it’s as though he’s striking a vogue pose, just for us.  Perhaps he’s testing the limits of the theory that one can never be too thin or too rich…

I love the golden reflection on the smooth sterling silver.  I think if I owned this necklace I’d constantly be playing with different additions, seeing the effect of different colours and forms.  Imagine him with a Garnet Bead, silver at the neck… or a shimmering prism… or a row of pearls for the spine… Even a tiny safety chain could form a delicate, swaying necklace for him.    The possibilities are, as always with Trollbeads,  beautifully endless.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Forsythia


Today’s sunshine and crisp nip in the air reminds me that it is almost time to trim my Forsythia bush and bring some branches inside to coax into bloom.  It’s a longstanding tradition in my house to pick branches on Remembrance Day, to plan to have flowers over Christmas.  A quick search on the subject online offers a host of advice, but much of it is irrelevant here in BC.  For example, one site suggested that the ideal time to force this plant is February, by which time our plants are already naturally in bloom.  They also give complicated instructions on how to achieve forced blooms… I had no idea that it was so difficult.

My approach is simply to trim a reasonable bunch of branches off the bush on a sunny day this time of year.  These are generally between 18-14 inches in length, since that’s what looks nice in a vase.  Then I take them inside and put them in a vase with lukewarm water.  Put them somewhere that I can admire them, check on the water level every now and then and that’s really it.  Very complicated.  It’ll take a few weeks, and then presto – you’ll have gorgeous sunshine yellow flowers on delicate arching twiggy branches, just when you need a little light.  If you start two batches, about a month apart, you can have some in January as well.  Sometimes the simplest things are the most satisfying.

As a side note, I’ve run into a few garden snobs who like to pronounce this plant name “for-sith-ya.”, with a short “I” in the middle.  Perhaps they think it sounds more British.  However, a true garden gnome would know that this plant is named in honour of  William Forsyth, a Scottish botanist and horticulturist who lived in the 1700s.  Among his other accomplishments, he was a royal head gardener and a founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society.  So it’s definitely “For-syth-ya”…. I wonder if he ever brought an armload of the bare, woody branches in to try forcing them… and I wonder what his irritated wife thought?  (“Bill, get those blasted garden trimmings out of my kitchen… “)

All joking aside, it’s a wonderful treat to have that ray of golden yellow at the darkest time of year, and well worth the few minutes that it takes to go trim some from your garden.

clockwise from clasp:  “Lock with Buds”, “Translucent Flower” (retired), “Green Wave”, “Soft Heart”, “Universal Unique”, “Christmas Rose”, “Universal Unique”, “Golden Quartz”, “Christmas Ornament” (Limited Edition), “Unique”, “Christmas Tree”, “Sweet Christmas” (Limited Edition), “Blue-Green Feather”, (Retired), “Christmas Berry”, “Earth”, “Christmas Ornament” (Limited Edition), “Unique Amber”, “Winter Snow”, “Anemones” (World Tour Denmark).

This gorgeous bracelet was designed by our very own Cristi, using beads from Tartoofuls’ stock… and it probably had nothing to do with Forsythia… but it instantly brought the plant to mind and I couldn’t resist posting on it.  (Forgive me Cristi!)

Enjoy this glorious sunshine…


Trollbeads Inspiration: Icy Wishes


We’ve had a few days to begin playing with the new Holiday 2012 Trollbeads collection, and already we’re seeing so many possibilities…

The creamy whites from both kits play nicely with so many different palettes, they are going to be very versatile.  In this photo you can see the glitter dot from the Decoration kit, with the bold new “Christmas Tree” and a fascinating teal Universal Unique.

The “Sweet Christmas Kit” contains this glitter swag patterned bead, which is very reminiscent of one of last year’s Christmas Limited Editions… It has a little twist; the dot and swirl feels just a little like “Traces”.  This unique Christmas Ornament Tassel is a perfect match…

Of course, the bead that everyone wants to see is the new “Diamond Bead, Ice Blue”.  This stunning sparkler is an intense blue, and after just a little experimentation we find that it works beautifully with not only turquoises but also virtually all the light blues.  Imagine how amazing a black and blue bracelet would be with two Diamond Beads framing a dramatic silver as the centerpiece… There really are so many lovely bracelets in this bead’s future.

The new collection contains some very strong silver designs as well… “Soft Heart” promises to become a favorite modern design.  It looks marvellous on a chain or bracelet or bangle all alone – but here you can see it blended in on a full design.

Another exciting silver design is “Bougainvillea”.  This bead was hard to envision from a photo, but in person it is a satisfying and generous cascade of tiny flowers that wedges neatly in between other beads on a bracelet.  We can’t wait to see this bead in gold!

Speaking of which… we couldn’t resist adding this “Happy Universe” to the bracelet.  Doesn’t its touch of warm 18k gold add a lovely note to the composition?  It is nicely echoed by the glitter beads, and feels so heavy and solid in the heart of this design.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Lock with Buds”, “Christmas Rose”, “Universal Unique Limited Edition Christmas Tassel”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2012”, “Soft Heart”, “Diamond Bead, Ice Blue”, “Winter Snow”, Limited Edition Christmas 2012″, “Christmas Tree”, “Universal Unique”, “Happy Universe”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2012”, “Polar Bear and Baby”, “Diamond Bead, Ice Blue”, “Bougainvillea”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2012”, “Christmas Rose”.

Be sure to drop by the shop in the village to see all these beauties for yourself… or if you live a little further away then pop by our online shop:

take me to Tartoofultoo online

Stay tuned for more inspiration from the new collection…


Trollbeads: It’s A Hard Job…

We’re hard at work this week, behind the scenes, preparing for our Trunk Show this Thursday!  We wish we could share every exciting step of the way with you… From when we first peek in the big box, to the magical moment when all the lovely beads lie shimmering on the play trays before us, ready to be arranged into neat rows on the racks… It’s truly inspiring to see that much variety all at once.

We’ve confirmed our Trunk Show Special Offer:

  • Complimentary Group 1 Bead with minimum $100 purchase

    In Addition, we will be making draws for door prizes throughout the day of the show… Bring a friend and if she makes a purchase we’ll pop an extra entry in the draw for you to say thank you!

    For those of you ladies who will be joining us for our Tartoofultoo Online Trunk Show, it will take place for one day only on Friday, October 5th.  We will honour the same specials as our in store show, and we will be uploading lots of fresh glass and amber uniques, so be sure to pop by to take a peek!

    Time to get back to fluffing the beads… (It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it…)


    PS Five sleeps!

Trollbeads Trunk Show at Tartooful – October 4th, 2012

We’re thrilled to invite you all to another of Tartooful’s legendary Trollbeads Trunk Shows….

October 4th, from Noon until 8 pm…

Please join us for huge selection, bubbly & treats, show specials and of course wonderful company.  Come chat with our collectors and see what they are designing… and be inspired by the new stars of the Autumn 2012 collection.  It’s a not-to-be-missed event!

For those of you who are shopping online at Tartoofultoo… we haven’t forgotten about you!  Trunk show specials will be extended to online shopping as well, and we will be adding fresh uniques to our selection for the day!  Be with us in spirit, even if you can’t make it to the village in person.

See you there!

C & C


Trollbeads Inspiration: Blue Transition

Many of us who have soft, beach-y blue bracelets have enjoyed their sun bleached feel over the warm and bright Summer…. My palest blues, mixed with ivory and silver, were my constant companions over the past few months.

Now that the clouds and dim mornings are back with us I’m feeling the need to add a rich note to prepare my favorite blues for winter.  I want it to feel a little darker, a little more serious, maybe even a little more formal.  We recently tackled this design challenge with one of our lovely Trollies, MS…

We reached for some of the Autumn 2012 collection to add to her soft blue bracelet… “Wave of Dreams” ably transitions between light and dark, with a wide spectrum of blue and touches of warm vicuna, gold and even a hint of violet.  This complexity makes this bead design endlessly fascinating to me, and a welcome addition.

Dichroic glass shimmers with countless shades of blue, offering another way to bridge the spectrum of light to dark.  Its rich and luminous tone feels warm and luxurious, just right for the months ahead.  The indigo tones of “The Eye” and “Flower of Dawn” add additional depth to the revised bracelet, and help to balance the “Wave of dreams”.

“Moon Ocean” has long been one of my favorite blue designs, and I am delighted that the new series provides a number of complementary beads that offer even more design options for it.  In this composition it shimmers with a blue and gold glow that gives a jewel box richness to the bracelet.  The textured surface adds a wonderfully tactile interest.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic double lobster clasp”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Three Flowers, silver”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Hong Kong World Tour Auspicious”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Blue Desert”, “The Eye”, “Summer Jewel, Small”, “Light Blue Shadow”, “Flower of Dawn”, “Carved Flowers”, “The Eye”, “Silver Mountain”, “Jugend”, “Moon Ocean”, “Azure Bubbles”.

Do you have a bracelet that needs to “warm up” for Autumn?  Come see us to play and let us help you redesign your favorites…