Trollbeads Inspiration: “Honey Dawn” and Friends.


Three days of continuous sunshine in Vancouver must have gone to my head, because just look what I was inspired to build today at the gallery…

honey-dawn2I began with this beautiful example of “Honey Dawn”… It’s an easy bead to love, with a buttery yellow heart, covered with layers of iridescent clear glass that shimmer in the light.  Little hits of pink, blue and green are subtly visible, and it changes dramatically with the light.  With this bead in the middle of the bracelet, I worked my way out,

honey-dawn3reaching for lots of warm whites and a few sweet yellows to be friends for the “Honey Dawn”.  Some of our favorite warm whites are shown here – “Conch”, with its generous texture and oyster undertone is always useful.  “Cozy” finds its way onto many Tartooful bracelet designs as its organic texture  is so compatible with natural

honey-dawn6stones and another of our favorite beads, “Silver Mountain”.  The “Diamond Bead, White” brings a hit of crisp white and huge sparkle to the design.  Normally this bead could be a scene stealer, but on this design the scattering of yellow keeps it from hogging the spotlight.  The different tones of white are brought together by another

honey-dawn10useful bead, “White Paper Fold”.  This design incorporates many different shades of white, from pure, crisp, icy white to ivory and even oyster.  The shadows cast by the inside structures create this fascinating array of tones, which allows this bead to blend different whites together into a cohesive palette.  Very useful.

honey-dawn11The new design, “Scirocco” ties the golden yellows and whites together perfectly, so it was a natural choice.  Next, to find some friends for the “Honey Dawn”… some new “Small and Beautiful” uniques arrived on Monday that turned out to be just the thing… This one at left is the colour of a rich custard, blended with cream.  Delicious.

honey-dawn4The other little one I added has a very subtle set of colours… definitely yellow, but a range of shades from very soft to quite deep – and then overlaid with a sea glass green top coat of clear glass.  The overall effect is unique and beautiful.   To help this little stunner blend in on the design I added two honeydew coloured, clear ambers that are of similar lemon-yellow tones.

honey-dawn9Simply Scrumptious.


Clockwise from clasp:  “freya Lock”, “Pearl”, “Unique Amber”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “Nomad”, “Unique”, “Spirit Light”, “Soft Heart”, “Cozy”, “Honey Dawn”, “Scirocco”, “Transformation”, “Conch”, “Unique”, “Whote Stripe”, “Soft Heart”, “Unique Amber”, “White Paper Fold”, “Flowers” (Retired), “Unique”, “Unique”, “Pearl”.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Mossy Blues


blues5If there’s one thing that North Vancouver does well… it’s growing moss.  We do moss like nobody else… thick, fabulous sheets of it that invite barefoot walks and afternoon naps.  I think it’s odd that some of my gardening friends treat it as a weed, grumbling as it grows madly all over their shade gardens, and working busily to keep it at bay.

blues6Personally I love the stuff, and actively cultivate it.  It protects the ground and helps to keep it moist over the super dry summer months, keeps the weeds to a minimum, and is green all year round.  Love it.  It’s the lowest maintenance ground cover ever, and uncomplainingly shares its space with all the other shade loving plants.


blues8So when I designed this “Beautiful blue” bracelet, with its mossy accent tones it brought to mind my favorite bed of moss in my garden.  I couldn’t resist a little “al fresco” photo shoot, to share it with you.  The moss is ridiculously lush at the moment, thick and sproingy, and glowing emerald green in the Spring sunshine.

blues1It still bears the tiny forest of oxblood seeds from last Autumn.  Don’t they look just like the little stripes in the “Parasol” patterned unique shown above?  Many of the beads on today’s bracelet are from the newest wave of classic core uniques for Spring of 2014.  These glass are, for the most part, quite tiny and very intricately detailed.

blues2I’ve had questions from readers wondering how to integrate these tiny beads into their existing collection of regular sized production beads… I can understand the hesitation, but for me they simply offer another way to play with size in a design.  I like a bracelet to taper at the ends, so that’s an easy spot to fit them in.  In addition, I prefer a mix of sizes through the main part of the bracelet, to allow the eye a spot to pause and rest.  Think of it as punctuation for the composition – it lets the eye know where there’s something especially lovely over which it should linger.  In this case, I have chosen silvers that I think are really beautiful.  I wanted the viewer to fully appreciate their form, so I tapered down to each one with a smaller glass.  Each little grouping of glass is made up of a larger central bead, framed by two slightly smaller ones.  It gives the overall bracelet a pleasant rhythm.












Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Unique”, “Ladybug”, “Unique”, “Silver Mountain”, “Unique”, “Forget me not”, “Ancient Palace”, “Labradorite”, “Unique”, “Chrysanthemum of November”, “Unique”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Unique”, “Troll with big feet”, “Unique”, “Purple Rippling Bubbles”, “Unique”, “Mom’s Bouquet”, “Unique”.




Trollbeads Inspiration: All our love…


v2Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!  I know, I know… it’s a cheesy holiday, but really, why not take the time to tell the people you love just how much they mean to you anyhow?  Perhaps one shouldn’t need a special day to do that, perhaps one ought really to tell them every day.  But just in case it occasionally gets forgotten, a special day doesn’t hurt.

v4We at Tartooful prefer thoughtful gestures – a handwritten love note… a heartfelt homemade card with scrawled Xs and Os to Mum… the first blooms of Spring from the garden… We’ve made up an inspiration bracelet with love, as our gift to all of you today.  Hopefully its exuberant palette is like a ray of sunshine for those of

v5you still snowed under by Winter!  We’ve included lots of the Valentines Limited edition release, “Be My Valentine”… we love this Aurora series bead, with it’s shimmering glass depths and fascinating little copper heart.  The heart feels like mother of pearl, as the glass works its magic on the rosy toned metal.  “Aurora Flowers” makes a pretty

v3companion, as does “Aurora Stripe” and the now retired “Silver Trace, Pink”.  A lovely heart unique helps to gel the Valentine’s theme, as do the “Trefoil Knot”, “Endless” and “Swan”, with it’s little heart hidden beneath its’ breast.  An Amethyst helps to enhance the lavender tones in the Aurora beads, and its facets add sparkle…


However you plan to spend this Valentine’s, we wish you a beautiful day, with lots of love…

xo, C.