Trollbeads Amber Deliciousness

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This has to be the most exciting group of amber kits that Canada has ever seen from Trollbeads.  These are simply amazing!  So many delicious designs packed into each gorgeous group of beads.  How to pick?!  Each kit is priced at CAD$373 or USD$283.

Drop by to see them in person!

xo

C

 

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Everyday Beautiful

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I adore this bracelet… everything about it appeals to me, from the soft and wearable palette, to the seductive glass and stones… to the rare, retired silvers that give it its rhythm.  it’s wonderful!

IMG_5492This remarkable “Labradorite” feels to me like a keystone element of the bracelet.  The brilliant, aqua flash in the stone is just stunning and perfectly sets the tone for the entire bracelet design.  Tartooful customer RC has artfully picked up the colour refrain across the entire bracelet, but also utilized muted neutrals to maintain a calm, subtle and sophisticated palette.  “Labradorite” is a perennial favorite for us at Tartooful and this design displays just how breathtaking this natural stone can be.

IMG_5489RC’s collection boasts some gorgeous, elusive designs… as this “Tourmalated Quartz” can testify.  This stone was acquired by many serious collectors with a black & white design theme in mind.  However, we’ve

IMG_5483found over time that it is most successfully deployed as a grey bead, in softer palettes, where its unique texture can stand out and be appreciated.  In stark black and white designs it feels unsatisfyingly muddy, as it’s simply too organic.  Here it shines among other greys, oysters, taupes, plums and delicate, celadon blue.

IMG_5484RC has chosen a few, perfectly on palette uniques to help gel the overall colour theme.  The unique above features what we call “Beautiful blue” – not quite Tiffany, Turquoise or Bird’s Egg – as well as the most subtle imaginable plum.  It beautifully ties together all the key colours.  The unique at right nicely draws in the more olive tones that are found in the Labradorite and the glitters…

IMG_5491I love how RC’s plums are so understated and natural.  This is not a purple bracelet.  Note the iridescent haze of plum that shines on this Limited edition “Peacock Pearl”… the plum undertone in its neighbouring unique,  and the hint of plum in her unusual specimen of “Blue Desert”.

IMG_5487It’s a wonderful reminder that fabulous beads can come from all parts of the Trollbeads collection – regular stock items often offer fascinating diversity of appearance.  Each glass truly does show the hand of its artist maker.

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Everyday design… but far from boring!

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All beads from RC’s private collection.

IMG_5485I can’t sign off on this entry without mentioning the Limited Edition, Mint Jasper Stone bead.  It’s a lovely creamy colour of celadon green, and, of course, very rare, desirable and elusive.  Here RC places it near the center of the bracelet, where it can shine in the spotlight.  The very green “Urchin” next to it basks in its glow!

C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Misty Greys

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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.

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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.

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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.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Last Troll Standing

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Today is a short post – but what a great concept!  This bracelet is by the amazing LD… and I LOVE her inspiration for this design.

What if you could only keep one bracelet out of your entire collection?  What would you include in that one, precious design?  What would be your “Last Troll Standing”

Makes one stop and think, doesn’t it?  I’m definitely going to make up a bracelet like this…  LD has chosen a mix of the rare, precious, retired and simply beautiful.  I see a retired and elusive “Siberian Tiger”, a stunning Amber unique, a “Labradorite” that is so clear I could read the newspaper through it, and of course, some delicious gold.  What would be on your bracelet?  Show us your designs!

C

Trollbeads Inspiration: Aurora Ablaze Bangle

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This is not for the fainthearted!

IMG_0938The recently released Aurora bangle has inspired so many of our ladies to take the leap to purchase a bangle… it’s resulted in a renaissance of creative and exciting bangle designs!  Beads that would never find their way onto a composition of fifteen to twenty beads can take center stage and shine on this minimalist piece.

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IMG_0939The sensational “Royal Orange” is a perfect example… only a brave few are creating full bracelets around this showstopper bead, but what a gorgeous statement it makes on a bangle! We’ve paired it here with the Aurora itself, as well as its’ cousin, a

IMG_0944“Netherlands” glass from the World Tour series of Summer 2012.  All three of these beads are so strong in their own right that they can overwhelm a complex composition, but on a bangle they are simple, bold and beautiful.  The auburn tones of the Aurora play perfectly with the juicy tangerine… and the two Orange beads are just different enough to be interesting and not overly “matched”…

What are you doing with your new bangle?

C

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: L.D.’s collection sparkles!

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We have just enough time to squeeze in one, or possibly two little notes before the year gracefully exits, and a new one begins.

DSCN4340Many of you have enjoyed collecting this year’s Limited Edition Trollbeads Christmas Ornaments.  With a dazzling array of colours and patterns, these delightful toys now add a whimsical note to so many of our Trollbeads Collectors bracelets and necklaces.  At left is an amazing necklace by L.D. featuring a very hard to find palette of imperial yellow and gold.  Appropriately, she has included a pair of silver “Fortune” beads, as well as two non-troll Tibetan Prayer wheels.

DSCN4311This necklace, also by L.D. is deceptively simple… and very effective.  Pairing the two “Smiling Cylinder” at the center of the design provides a strong, graphic punch to the necklace.  Together, they create something entirely new and exciting.

DSCN4185This warm, golden, amber composition plays with a lovely group of ambers and stones, as well as some of the new Christmas Limited Edition Ornamental Kit.  Note the rare cross-shaped amber with engravings, as well as the stunning Christmas ornament dangle.

Of course, if you find you have extra little ornaments, there’s always brilliant solution employed by L.D. – simply hang them on your tree…

Thank you L.D. for sharing your beautiful collection with us, what wonderful inspiration!

C.

 

 

Trollbeads Inpsiration: New Toys!

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DSCN5235By now our Trollies will have unwrapped their holiday gifts from their families… and under many trees this year were Trollbeads, carefully picked by husbands and wives, mothers and fathers and of course, little clusters of excited children.  We always love to see the little ones come in, either with a parent or sometimes all on their own, ready to pick just the right thing for Mom.

DSCN5243  Perhaps you’re one of those fortunate ladies, who received new Troll toys for Christmas?  Have you started to play with the new pieces yet, and see what works with your collection, and how it will all fit in?  Your new beads bear a Christmas story of love.

DSCN5233Take your time and try lots of different combinations before you settle on an arrangement…. I always find that the addition of even one or two new beads requires rethinking the whole bracelet to ensure a nicely balanced composition.

DSCN5232The gorgeous bracelet that we are enjoying today belongs to one of our lovely, local Trollies, N.O..  It’s a stunning composition… rich, dramatic, beautiful, and totally luxe with lots of gold and hard-to-find raspberry uniques.

DSCN5234It feels as though it was painstakingly designed to look precisely like this… carefully planned from the beginning with this amazing design in mind.  However, the truth is that N.O. chooses her beads purely on whether she loves each bead.

DSCN5244The result is a fluid collection that has seen many different compositions, depending on the mood of the designer.  It’s a wonderful approach, as it keeps the process of acquiring new beads light and fun – and each bracelet is an inspired delight.

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DSCN5229N.O.’s bracelets always feel fresh, as they only stay in the same arrangement for a few months at most… by that time she will have found a few more treasures and will be inspired to try something new, and create something beautiful using the newest arrivals in her jewellery box.

It’s a great reminder to the rest of us to actively enjoy our collections, redesign often and only pick beads that we love, knowing that if we do, they’ll all fit in beautifully.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Pearl Flower” clasp, “Gold Spacer” (retired), “Red-Pink Prism” (retired), “18k Lotus”, “Christmas Limited Edition”, “Heart Spacer” (retired), “Diamond Bead, Gold”, “Ruby with gold core”, “Stars, 18k and diamonds”, “Universal Unique”, “18k and diamonds Bougainvillea”, “Pink Bud”, “Unique Raspberry Armadillo”, “2+2 18k”, “Universal Unique Fern”, “18k Endless”, “Diamond Bead, Pink”, “Mountain Crystal” (world tour Switzerland), non-troll, “Christmas Limited Edition”, “18k initial N”, “Red-Pink Prism” (retired), “18k spacer” (retired).

c.

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Those lovely bones…

 

We’re delighted to have found one last Limited Edition Skeleton Necklace!  It’s posted online at Tartoofultoo and is gracing the window at Tartooful in the Village at the moment, but likely not for long as it is attracting lots of attention!

This was a Limited Edition release that was available in 2010 in Europe, and 2011 in North America.  The Skeleton Necklace is 5.7″ in length. The body is sterling silver with an 18 ct gold bead at its throat.  It’s completely jointed so it dangles eccentrically.

As one collector remarked, “You never know how he’s going to sit – sometimes he lazes about, other times he looks like he’s trying to climb right up on me!”.  The Skeleton Necklace includes a 50 cm / 19.7 inch sterling silver necklace with and a sturdy Plain Lock.

The whole idea of this dramatic necklace is wonderful… but as is always the case with Troll, it’s the little details that really sing.  For example, they could have made the vertebrae all the same, but instead they are each subtly different and individually numbered.

The loving attention to detail, with each finger and toe carefully defined, the ankle so beautifully jointed, the skull with not one, but two faces… it’s classic Søren Nielsen design.  It’s a gentle reminder of our short time here, and a nudge, (with a smile) to make the most of it.

I love how delightfully shivery it is that the human face is somehow more frightening than the skull.  We’ve had fun playing with the necklace, exploring the possibilities – and there are so many!  This is Troll after all – it’s a creative tool.

Imagine the skull as a centerpiece on your bracelet, or the little gold necklace nestled between your favorite chakra beads… or put those chakras on the necklace and let them form his spine… This is a playful necklace that just begs to be played with.

Last year we luxuriated in playing with the various beads in our Lady of the Lake Composition…

as well as in this dramatic Pumpkin inspired palette…

However.  As much fun as the Skeleton necklace is to play with, what really matters is what it’s like to wear it.  I thought I understood the full appeal of the piece until I wore mine to a tony event shortly after acquiring it… I was astonished by the impact that it had on how I carried myself, and in how other people approached me.  It is a powerful design, that is truly transformative when worn.  It’s wearable art.  It’s an amazing experience to be able to wear it, and I feel privileged to be able to.

Our last skeletons lasted only a few days – and this one just arrived, so if you’d like to have a chance to see it in person do take the time to drop by for a visit soon…

C.

 

Trollbeads Inspiration: Two Beautiful Sisters (Dos Hermanas Hermosas)

I’ve had the pleasure over the past few months of becoming acquainted by email with a pair of Trollbead collectors from Madrid, Spain… These glamorous sisters are witty, down to earth and have an irrepressible enthusiasm and joy that comes bubbling through in every word they write – and of course in the beautiful bracelets that they create.
I’m fascinated by the method that Trollies use in assembling and curating their own personal collections.  We’ve seen so many approaches – truly every bracelet does tell the story of their owner, in one way or another.  However, Lucia and Cecilia’s easy going way of sharing beads back and forth between Sisters stands out as a very rare approach.  Not many of us are willing to part with our beads, even for a short time!  That’s true sisterly love.
In Cecilia’s own words:

“The two sisters have a similar way of choosing beads, when we see a bead we love we want to buy! The difference is that Lucía, when she likes a bead, (like bubbles azure), can not resist buying several, it happens, especially when the beads vary greatly from each other being the same.

Cecilia is more selective, waiting for the perfect.

The problem is that we always buy without thinking about how to combine them with the rest, but then this is also nice, because come unexpected combinations and different every day.

we live together, and we can not resist trying all colors together, usually we change beads (Cecilia takes ones of Lucía and Lucía some of Cecilia) to take for a few days a new bracelet more different than normal.

This, for now, is a particular advantage for Cecilia, who has fewer beads!

We love the colors of Trollbeads, the special beads … this ones have something unusual … so we still have a few silver beads … because we love to combine colors, but we love the silver too! We try to collect first editions limited or retired ones.

All silver beads are from Lucía, some were gifts, the dragon of luck, which transports magical tales of childhood … Indian elephant, symbolizing the country that Lucía has more desire to visit, India!. then have the summer butterfly limited edition, is very delicate, like Lucía, but it takes the color of amber, fire, this bead represents Lucía very well, and also has light shines, as breezes of color, singing in the crystal. Frog Prince, has also to do with the fairy tales of the past … if you kiss the frog becomes a prince 🙂 and lastly, the bead of Hong Kong, who reminds her first role in theater, a geisha!

About the colors, as we will see in the inspirations, Lucía is more forest… shelter… peace…. subtlety… depth… but do not forget the touch of fire, she is strong, with character but very understanding and malleable, vivid, sweet and fragility. She also has a special touch to the colors, and for all the artistic things… since she was a small girl, painted very well (colors) and loved making bracelets, with cloth, with beaded…  The stores of glass beads was passionate, it is normal when finding Trollbeads, inevitably fall in love with this! she also used to do key chains, magnets, animals, earrings, necklaces … everything you can imagine, a quick learner and inventing new ways. And now she is actress (emotions), she is sooo beautiful… little but strong and with lots of shine.

Cecilia need vivid colors, clear, air… is also active and alive, more restless. Needs light and summer, so that inspiration so sweet and powerful. Love the sport and be on the street! is seems extroverted but is shy, has a lot of inner life, sensitive, impulsive, we both look similar in some of this things… She likes children and medicine…”

Utterly delightful!  Thank you so much to Cecilia and Lucia for allowing us a glimpse into their very special family and shared collection…

C.

Trollbeads Inspiration: JR’s Red Hot Bracelet

Here’s another tantalizing glimpse into JR’s Trollbeads Treasure box… this time we’re showcasing a “Red Hot” composition that features an inspiring array of retired designs, combined into a powerful bracelet that feels like a celebration!

Hints of gold add a touch of luxe to this composition.  Amber, the “Root Chakra”, a most unusual, retired “Trollstone” and this lovely “Golden Cave” all give a golden glow that beautifully complements the rich reds and raspberries of the principal beads.

However, it is the contrast between the pinks and orange-reds that give this bracelet design its simmering energy.  This composition feels like a heat wave… think bougainvillea trailing across a terracotta wall… think hibiscus blossoming in the tropics…

The variety of red tones in Retired “Berries” bridges the wide range of reds in this design, from the brilliant “Red Armadillo” to the deep claret of the “Garnet Bead”.  Beads such as this one, and its multi toned neighbour,  retired “Lilac Edge” are keystones for giving cohesion to the overall design.

Another lovely retired red bead, “Dolce” was introduced as part of the designer series, honouring various Fashion Industry icons.  Its leopard print pattern on hunter red is classic, but very couture.

Clockwise from clasp:  Basic Double Lobster Clasp, “Red Armadillo” (retired), “Golden Cave”, “Zodiac Star” (retired), “Summer Bud” (retired), “Wine Harvest”, “Lilac Edge” (retired), “Red Berries” (retired), “Unique Raspberry Armadillo”, “Circus Elephant” (retired), “Trollstone” (retired), “Silver Trace, Pink”, “Root Chakra”, “Wine Harvest”, “Unique”, “Garnet Bead”, “Maple Syrup Amber”, “Dolce” (retired).

A great many of the Trollbeads reds have been retired over the past three years, leaving only a very few in the current collection… the reason has less to do with demand or trends than it does with the technical challenges of producing red glass.

Most red glass that one encounters is actually clear glass that has been coated with red.  True red glass of the type seen in Trollbeads is very costly to produce, as it requires the addition of gold to give its warm glow.  In addition, it is far more unstable during the cooling process than other colours, which causes more breakage before the beads may be shipped to market.  The same challenges arise for another legendary glass producer that you may find at Tartooful:  iittala of Finland makes gorgeous glass vessels in a huge range of colours, but unfortunately must price their red pieces much higher than other cool toned colours, to compensate for the extra expense and difficulty of producing them.

At the moment, the best way to add to a collection of Red Trollbeads is by keeping a watchful eye out for uniques or special editions in just the right colour…

C.