Fun and Games with Trollbeads… Cathy & Cristi’s Collections.

rack-closeNow that’s a nice rack.

azuresBad Troll jokes aside, we had some serious fun at Tartooful today.  Cristi and I both brought our collections to work today so we could lay them all out on play trays and do some hardcore designing.  It had been ages since we had taken the time to treat our own collections to the same design process as we offer our customers… In fact, I don’t think we have ever laid the two collections out side by side before!  Today, it was “fun and games with beads” at Tartooful.

racksCristi is on the left… Cathy is on the right.

blue-green-featherWe came up with a number of new combinations that we hadn’t tried before – many with beads that we’ve had for years.  We always find that starting from scratch with the beads laid out like a palette allows one to see the potential with fresh eyes.  We’ve shot a number of them and will share them with you over the next few days.

twins

petalsNot surprisingly, our collections include a wide variety of diverse designs and colour groups, so we were able to make lots of very different compositions. What did shock us was that the first two bracelets we designed were very similar in look and feel.  They were so close that it prompted us to go go through our play trays and find all the twins…

labradoritesNot only were Cristi and I surprised at how many bead designs we have in common, but we were also shocked to realize how many of our bead stories carried common threads… and as everyone knows the stories behind the beads are at the very heart of the matter, and often even more important  than their appearance.

Where, when and how one comes to own a bead is a critical part of the collection acquisitions process.  Was it a gift?  A purchase on holiday?  Bought to celebrate a special occasion?  Or perhaps even to mark a difficulty overcome?  Those kids of associations add so much to the meaning of a bead, and transform it into an irreplaceable talisman.

The top row belongs to Cristi, the bottom one belongs to Cathy.

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Left to right:

  • Rosa Pearl:  gifts to each of us from beloved Trollie friend, Nadine.
  • Mountain Crystal – Switzerland World Tour:  Couldn’t resist these lovelies, we bought them for ourselves.
  • Heart:  First Trollbeads bought for each of us as gifts by our then-sweeties, now-husbands.
  • Azure Bubbles:  Cristi found hers at Tartooful, Cathy found hers at Trollbeads NYC on a holiday.  What are the chances they would look so identical, and how did we not notice until now?
  • Carved Flowers:  Cristi’s was a gift taken from Cathy’s bracelet… Cathy bought hers for herself afterwards.
  • Blue Desert:  Cathy’s is a nice shade of grey bead that she fell for… Cristi’s very rosy version reminds her of her Dad’s Cinnamon toast.
  • Trollbeads at the Beach/Violet Petals: Gift from beloved Trollie friend, Lisa.
  • Pack of Cards:  Gifts given by Trollbeads Denmark at Las Vegas Academy, 2012.
  • Labradorite:  Cristi received hers as a Christmas gift from Tartooful, along with a fantasy necklace a few years ago.  Cathy has had her battered but beloved version for four years, and bought it for herself.
  • King and Queen:  Cathy bought hers on hearing of the bead’s retirement.  She also bought one for Cristi, and gave it to her when Cristi became engaged to her now-husband, Chris.
  • Blue-Green Feather:  Long time favorite beads of both of us – we bought these for ourselves individually.
  • Blue Desert:  These very-navy versions of this favorite bead are quite recent.  We bought em, and we love em.
  • Sparrow:  Cristi bought one for her and another for her Mom, as a gesture of Mother-Daughter love.  Cathy bought one in memory of her Mother who passed away in 2004.  We didn’t know that we shared this bead story until today.
  • Classic core unique:  Cathy’s version was a gift from Trollbeads when she visited Tivoli in Copenhagen.  Cristi’s was a gift from Cathy on the plane ride back from the Trollbeads Academy in Las Vegas 2012.
  • Happy Fish:  We both fell in love with this bead for the story ascribed to it by Trollbeads.  Cristi received hers as a gift from her parents when she moved to the West Coast.  Cathy’s is on loan to her from her eldest Son’s collection.
  • Grey Armadillo:  We each bought these for ourselves… a gorgeous retired design that makes its way onto so many compositions.
  • Peacock Pearl:  A nice little Christmas surprise for Cristi from Cathy. Cathy had a less pleasant surprise when she recently lost her original Peacock Pearl, so she just replaced it for herself.

Screen shot 2014-02-19 at 9.10.56 PMUp next… a closer look at these two peacock toned bracelets!

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Misty Greys

foggy-day-s-curve

foggy-day2This is a bracelet that I composed using my own personal collection, to reflect the misty days of early Spring here in Vancouver… when I look out my window sometimes it feels like everything is in this range of colour!  I exaggerate, of course…

foggy-day3… we are fortunate to have rich greens all winter, courtesy of the many cedars, firs, pines, bamboo and grasses.  We truly do have a “green” winter here.  However, the softest bone whites, calm greys and touches of iridescent blue are very Vancouver.  Labradorite is always our favorite stone at Tartooful, and it takes pride of place on this composition, right in the center.  It is framed by a pair of artisan beads that I selected for their outstanding size and warm ivory tone.  You’ll find lots of ivory notes on this design.

foggy-day-meteorI’m particularly fond of this unique “Cream Meteor”, both for its subtle beauty, and for the meaning in it as it is a treasured gift from a friend.  I placed it at the end, as its tiny size tapers the bracelet nicely, and I find that I see it often there when the bracelet turns.

artisan-tasselsI’ve enhanced my lock on this design with a pair of artisan made tassels, one in Smoky Quartz and the other in glowing Labradorite.  These tassels are made by Tartooful’s own Melanie Matthews, and we use them to add a personal touch to many different jewellery pieces, but particularly our Trollbeads and Pyrrha talismans.  I like to see them attached to the small end of the Trollbeads clasp, layered on before the bracelet chain.  That way when the bracelet naturally turns there is a little more interest at the clasp, and they don’t dangle all over the place, but rather stay tidily arrayed at one spot.

artisan-tassels2

I’ve even put a whole cluster of them on a fantasy necklace, for the effect of a giant tassel of stones!  The pearl blends in and becomes just one more of many.

foggy-day-bracelet

Clockwise from clasp:  “Double Lobster Clasp” (retired form) “Artisan tassel:  Smoky Quartz Briolette”, Artisan Tassel:  Cabochon Labradorite”, “Unique Cream Meteor”, “Bee On Hive” (retired), “Light Blue Shadows” (retired), “Unique Alabaster Amber Barrel”, “Chinese Zodiac Limited Edition Rooster”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Mountain Crystal” (World Tour Switzerland), “Jugend”, “Artisan”, “Labradorite”, “Artisan by Scot Bouwens”, “Frogs”, “Limited Edition Picasso Jasper”, “Dark Brown Dot” (retired), “Custom Trollbead by Georgina Black of Trollbeads Canada”, “Happy Fish” (retired), “Artisan Bead by Scot Bouwens”, “Bee on Hove” (retired), “Cream Armadllo” (retired).

C.