Trollbeads Inspiration: Winter 2013 launches today


chocolate-cherryToday the lovely Melanie of Tartooful has taken inspiration from the new Winter 2013 Trollbeads collection, and made up a bracelet that feels like a box of raspberry chocolates!  She began at the “heart” of the bracelet, placing the new Fantasy Pendant “In Your Heart” at the center, and having it embrace a “Crimson Armadillo”.

chocolate-cinnamonIt’s easy to overlook the production patterns of Trollbeads, particularly when there are so many lovely uniques and limited editions available – but just look at this sparkly “Goldstone”.  Love.

chocolate-giraffeThe beautiful red, amber and stone bead at left is one of the stars of the Limited edition “Christmas Love” kit.  The subtle shade of red, combined with a flash of burnt yellow and fascinating stone texture makes this bead an instant favorite at Tartooful.  (I love the ones with the most grey stone , as they go beautifully with my pink & red spicy tones).

chocolate-stoneHow’s this for a power grouping?  Here you’ll spot a “Zebra Jasper” from the limited edition Summer Stones series, one of the new “Christmas Love” kit of beads, a gorgeous stone textured bead by glass artisan Kathy Perras of Portland, and an old style unique.  Such rich colour and texture, this is delicious.

chocolate-drifting-seedsWith so many opaque and textured beads it’s important to let a little clear light shine in so that the composition sparkles… here “Dew Drops” does just that, with it’s warm toffee coloured strands floating in clear glass that catches and dances with the light.  It’s framed with a “Red Mud Jasper” and “Zebra Jasper” from the Summer Stones.


chocolate-tigerI can almost hear you asking… “ahem, yes – but what about the tiger?”  Well, that’s also an artisan made bead by Kathy Perras.  We don’t indulge in many artisan beads – and when we do it’s always one with a Trollbeads connection.  In this case, Kathy has been working with Trollbeads for many years.  Her Siberian Tiger is a legendary design, and still as gorgeous as the day it was launched.


“Raspbery Chocolates” by Melanie


The entire Winter 2013 Trollbeads collection is now available at Tartooful – give us a ring at 604.924.0122, drop us a line at tartooful@gmail,com or shop onlne at Tartoofultoo


Trollbeads Inspiration: illuminated green


looking out my window this morning I notice that there’s a different feel to the green that surrounds me at this time of year.  It’s a combination of a few things, I think…

photo-8Here in Canada the light is low in the sky and the shafts of morning light shine right through the delicate, late leaves.  With the busy patterns and myriad  shapes it feels like a cool quiet cathedral, framed by verdant stained glass.  Even though many of the leaves are still brilliantly green, the angles and depth of shadows are unmistakably different than in the Summertime.  We’re aware of how tenuous this last gasp of green is, that it could blow away in the next brisk wind.


limeWith these Autumnal greens fresh in my mind, I designed a bracelet with a range of woodland hues… moss, vine maple leaves, rocky pathways, cedar bark and forest shadows inspired the palette of this composition.  It’s the colours and textures of the “West Coast Rainforest”, but the imperfect Autumn version…

old-earthThe new “Aqua Edge” series of beads finds a perfect home in this design, giving a satisfying “edge” to greens that otherwise might feel too clear and cheerful.  I like having natural stone designs on this bracelet, and the “Dalmation Jasper” feelslike a creekside pebble.  Artisan glassmaker Kathy Perras’ version of “Old Earth” strikes the right note.

lime2This retired “Lime” gives that top note of acid green to the bracelet.  I wouldn’t want to infuse the design with too much of this showy colour, but just a little gives it bit of energy and interest that just wouldn’t be there if it were simply soothing and sedate forest greens.  Too much would evoke too tropical of a feel… a little is just a sunny highlight.

pythonI couldn’t resist the lure of this Unique Glitter Python for this bracelet.  It’s big, dramatic and beautiful.  I love everything about it… the deep, clear & luminous green background… the acid touched vicuna patterning, with aqua edge on each one.  Finally, the crowning touch of just a hint of glitter on each one.  It’s one of the nicest pythons I’ve seen.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Troll Tree Lock”, “Acorn”, “Unique Amber”, “Planet”, “Kathy Perras Artisan Bead”, “Labradorite”, “Aqua Edge Triangle”, “Sweater”, “Classic Unique”, “Lime” (retired), “Blue Tigers Eye”, “Triple Pearl Black”, “Green Jasper”, “Diamond Bead, black”, “Classic Unique”, “Ball of Yarn”, “Aqua Edge Triangle”, “Dalmation Jasper”, “Kathy Perras Artisan Bead”, “Autumn Splendour”, “Aqua Edge Pumpkin”, “Black Silk”.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Acorn Bracelet


acorn-bracelet3Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone!  The whole neighborhood is going to smell like roasting turkeys today…and tonight the streets will be quiet, as everyone gathers with their friends and family.  It’s a time to reflect on the the year as it rushes past, and offer up gratitude for the things, both large and small that make life beautiful.

Today, a simple little bracelet, made of three braided leather necklaces and three “Tiny Acorns”.  Just right for Autumn and a spirit of thankfulness.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Daydream Bracelet


“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

-Dr Seuss.

great-waveIt’s such a wonderful quotation, isn’t it?  One of my favorite authors and illustrators, never without a quirky, pithy mot juste.

It certainly feels appropriate for this bracelet, which was inspired by the idea of making a daydream design.  I wanted to put the “Wave of Dreams”, “Silver Lining” and “Thoughts are Free” all

fierce-blueon one composition, to evoke some quiet time of reflection, where one’s thoughts could wander freely.  I’m imagining this idyllic daydream happening on a perfect perch by the ocean where one can lie among the windblown trees, gaze out at the sea and simply watch the clouds as they scuttle past in a fiercely blue sky. 

autumn-blues3We’re lucky to have lots of those magical places nearby to our home, where the mountain just falls suddenly into the ocean with lots of scrubby trees tumbling down the rocks.  The rocks, lichen, trees and plants all are palette of mossy to emerald greens.  The ocean can take on a rich teal if the sky is clear, but clouds often turn it slate grey.

thoughts-plus-clouds=daydream This bracelet’s teal and brilliant blues feel very appropriate for the season… very denim-y and warm.  The olive notes stop it from being too tropical… and I’m particularly pleased with the way the blues bring out the aqua accents in the new Autumn series beads.  Olive is a colour that I always find useful as a way to give brights a bit of “edge”, and

grey-prism-is-really-greenwith the retirement of “deep bubbles” I found myself reaching for Summer Stones, Labradorite, and ransacking the uniques selection to fill that role.  It’s wonderful to have these new designs to play with.  (Hey Trollbeads, another with apricot highlights would be handy?)  One final tip: a bead that plays as olive is the “Grey Prism”…





Trollbeads Inspiration: Autumnal Necklace


autumn-necklace4This Autumnal necklace is made up of multiple layers of various tones and textures of leather.  It plays with the natural browns, greys and blacks of the Trollbeads leather necklace and double wrap leather bracelets.  I like the contrast between the smooth saddle leather finish of the brown necklace and the slightly sueded finish of the double wraps.  I often wear my own leather bracelet as a necklace, but hadn’t thought before to layer it with a different style of leather.


autumn-neckalce2I didn’t over clutter this composition, choosing just a few earthy bead designs such as “Cozy”, “Golden Cave” and some of the “Summer Stones”.  A little sparkle comes from a nice “Golden Quartz”, and a “Black Gold”.  A few simple silvers add a little shine… I particularly like the bold form of “Thoughts” from the newest collection.


What do you think?  Perfect necklace for warm cardigans and cool days?


Trollbeads Inspiration: Vermilion



berries4What a wonderful word “Vermilion” is… doesn’t it conjure up rich, illuminated medieval paintings and incense scented Chinese import shops?  It summons frescoes of Pompeii, shimmering icons in their complicated frames, and stacks of red carved snuff boxes tucked among lanterns and bamboo baskets.

berries3It’s not a commonly used word today, and not many people know that it originates from the Latin word, “Vermiculus”, meaning “little worm”.  Very odd, I know!  Long ago this mineral based pigment reminded people of a natural dye that was derived from an insect, the Kermes Vermilio, and somehow the name stuck.


Many years ago I had a Latin teacher (yes, I’m that old…) who loved to uncover the Latin roots of lesser known English words and expressions.  She’d pounce on each one like a long lost treasure, and pronouncing each syllable with care would exclaim, “Good Word, girls… Good word!”… My old Magistra would have approved of this word…


Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Lock”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Large Berries”, “Saffron Facet”, “Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Leopard”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Three Siblings”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Peach Flower”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Blue Sky Day

peoples-choice-scurveSo Pretty…

Well done everyone who designed and voted on this year’s collection of the “Peoples’ Beads” – they are truly original and beautiful…

sakuraThe newest member of the Tartooful family, Melanie, designed this fresh bracelet using the whimsical “Silver Lining” bead as inspiration.  The clean blue and white colours of the new bead pointed the way, and she added other brilliant blues such as this “Light Turquoise” prism to create a crisp and cheerful statement.

love-is-blindShe utilized the entire collection of glass and silver in the design, so it’s an ideal way to show you the various beads’ sizes and how they might play with each other on a bracelet.  For example, the adorable “Love is Blind” bead is on the larger side – as you can see here it is quite a bit taller than the green ribbon unique that is accompanies.


One of my personal favorites is the new “Friends” bead, which reminds us of the deep value of a true friend…

“Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen.”

Of course, the adage doesn’t mean that one should only have a few friends and books.  Rather, it speaks of the difference between a friendly acquaintance, and a deep and lasting friendship.  I’m fortunate enough to have a couple of good friends in mind for this bead…

where-theres-a-willI’m pleased to have a couple of new modernist inspired designs to play with… “Will”, shown at left is a lovely large silver with pleasingly clean lines that I look forward to pairing with my “Spot” and “Shortcut”.  It’s an excellent size match for both those beads, as well as the new “Thoughts”.  Here it is shown with “Dalmation Jasper”, which adds a touch of warmth and a grounding note of black to this sunny bracelet, bringing it gently into Autumn.


silver-liningOf course, everyone has questions about the newest glass design in the collection… “Silver Lining” has thus far proven to be consistently lovely, with satisfyingly liquid-clear blue glass and simple graphic cloud images floating on the surface.  The little edge of grey on the clouds prevents it from feeling too cartoon-simple and allows it to play with other more subtle blues and greys.  I look forward to trying this bead with many other blue combinations.

leopardAnother new design that will be fun to incorporate into new bracelet designs is the “Leopard”.  Here it feels natural among the other “sayings” designs, but I’d love to see it on a Cartier inspired design, with rich claret, ruby red, gold and black as its setting.  (Stay tuned, I will definitely try this…)



Clockwise from clasp:  “Small Flower Lock”, “Light Turquoise Prism”. “Sakura”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Friends”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Love is Blind”, “Dalmation Jasper”, “Will”, “Night Owl” (Note how Melanie placed the “Turquoise Feathers” in the middle of the owl to give him feathers… wink wink), “Silver Lining”, “Thoughts”, “Dalmation Jasper”, “Leopard”, “Lime Green Prism”, “This too…”, “Little Acorns”.

300x300One final note… I totally love “Little Acorns” and it will probably be the very first one of these new beads that I add to my own bracelet.  The only decision is… do I add the humbly priced silver, or do I spring for the gorgeous gold?  Right now I’m leaning towards gold… it’s just too lovely.





X By Trollbeads Now Available in Tartooful’s Online Shop

Basis_armbaand_727x480We’ve put the finishing touches on our Tartoofultoo Online Shop, and we’re excited to be able to show off all the new X collection, now available for online shopping!  Browsing for Trollbeads in the comfort of your pajamas while lounging on the sofa – what could be better?

So cosy up, drop by, and take a peek at all the new links, as well as the upcoming Peoples’ Bead collection, which launches October 4th!


Trollbeads inspiration: Big Rock Bangle


big-rock-bangle2Today we feature a recent bangle design by Cristi that combines some of the hot young stars of the new Autumn 2013 series with “Dichroic Ice”, a classic bead design that is long time favorite of ours at Tartooful.  The clear white dichroic glass is fascinating to examine, as it alternates between clear white and shimmering iridescence.

big-rock-bangle-4(See what I mean?)

This chameleon quality allows it to settle comfortably into classic white bracelets, but also to bring out blue, pink, green, or purple from its neighbours in a composition.

big-rock-bangle-5Here it echoes some of the fuschia and blue from the newly released “Moonlight Bubbles”.  This bead is part of the Aurora family of designs, and ranges beautifully from almost completely blue all the way to nearly orange.  All of the examples have waves of shimmering glass dotted with clear bubbles that feel like pearls.


The flash of shimmer and colour on this bangle might be what catches the eye… but the two “Diamond in the rough” silver beads will be what brings a smile to the eye… how fun!  They play on all our cultural associations with diamonds, and then brazenly toss them aside.  These are “rocks” for a very self sufficient, and utterly modern sort of girl.  What a wonderful gift from one friend to another… or to oneself!


One final note… I’m hoping to the “diamond in the rough” featured on lots of natural stone bracelet designs… what could be more clever than to blend it with other gems?

Where are you planning to put your new “rock”?



Inspired by the Art of Trollbeads Glass

IMG_2603So Beautiful.

IMG_2604It’s an exciting time at Tartooful… with so many new Trollbeads designs in the gallery to explore, we are finding gorgeous new combinations every day.  If you have not yet seen the full collection, be sure to visit us in the Village, or our online shop, where we have the full series.  In addition, we are making preparations to host Trollbeads Glass artist, Georgina Black, at Tartooful on Friday the 13th of September from 11:00 am to 7:00pm.  She’ll be making some custom beads with all proceeds going to, and all of our customers will be able to enjoy seeing just how Trollbeads creates these treasures we love so well.

IMG_2607Ooh… Ahhh…

We’ll have lots of fresh uniques to tempt you in the gallery for the day, as well as fun promotions, champagne and treats.  These events are always such fun, with all our lovely Trollies – it’s a great chance to meet some of the other collectors in the community.

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 10.18.44 AM

See you in the Village…