Trollbeads Challenge: Day 10


Today I am featuring a lush bracelet design with saturated colour and heaps of texture and pattern.  It’s an abrupt change from the simplicity and calm of yesterday, and a fun exploration of the huge range of expression that the Trollbeads toolbox offers.


IMG_1810I adore cranberry red, even more so when combined with other saturated tones such as raspberry, pink, coral, goldenrod yellow – or in this case all of them!  It’s a “Singapore sling” bracelet with juicy sunset colours that range from soft pink and peach down into egg yolk yellow, raspberry, tomato red and claret.  These riotous colours all play together nicely, partly because they are all in the warm red family, but also because the textures and patterns of the glass are of a similar complexity and mood.

I could have contrasted the ornate glass with simple silvers to offer a pause for the eye, but instead, consciously chose to make this bracelet an extreme contrast to yesterday’s breath of calm.  I enjoy playing at both ends of the Trollbeads design spectrum!





Trollbeads Inspiration: Merry Christmas!


“The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus” By Ogden Nash

In Baltimore there lived a boy.
He wasn’t anybody’s joy.
Although his name was Jabez Dawes,
His character was full of flaws.

In school he never led his classes,
He hid old ladies’ reading glasses,
His mouth was open when he chewed,
And elbows to the table glued.
He stole the milk of hungry kittens,
And walked through doors marked NO ADMITTANCE.
He said he acted thus because
There wasn’t any Santa Claus.


Another trick that tickled Jabez
Was crying ‘Boo’ at little babies.
He brushed his teeth, they said in town,
Sideways instead of up and down.
Yet people pardoned every sin,
And viewed his antics with a grin,
Till they were told by Jabez Dawes,
‘There isn’t any Santa Claus!’

Deploring how he did behave,
His parents swiftly sought their grave.
They hurried through the portals pearly,
And Jabez left the funeral early.


Like whooping cough, from child to child,
He sped to spread the rumor wild:
‘Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes
There isn’t any Santa Claus!’
Slunk like a weasel of a marten
Through nursery and kindergarten,
Whispering low to every tot,
‘There isn’t any, no there’s not!’

The children wept all Christmas eve
And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.
No infant dared hang up his stocking
For fear of Jabez’ ribald mocking.


He sprawled on his untidy bed,
Fresh malice dancing in his head,
When presently with scalp-a-tingling,
Jabez heard a distant jingling;
He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof
Crisply alighting on the roof.
What good to rise and bar the door?
A shower of soot was on the floor.

What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon his knees
With cries of ‘Don’t,’ and ‘Pretty Please.’
He howled, ‘I don’t know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!’
‘Jabez’ replied the angry saint,
‘It isn’t I, it’s you that ain’t.


Said Jabez then with impudent vim,
‘Oh, yes there is, and I am him!
Your magic don’t scare me, it doesn’t’
And suddenly he found he wasn’t!
From grimy feet to grimy locks,
Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,
An ugly toy with springs unsprung,
Forever sticking out his tongue.


The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;
They searched for him, but not with zeal.
No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,
Which led to thunderous applause,
And people drank a loving cup
And went and hung their stockings up.


All you who sneer at Santa Claus,
Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,
The saucy boy who mocked the saint.
Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint.

Merry Christmas, One and All!




30 Day Challenge: Day 27


This was so much fun to build!  I *never* make up bracelets in this way… but I’m delighted with the result!


IMG_9807For once, I wasn’t able to build a bracelet from the middle out.  My objective today was to shake up not only the usual structure and layout of my bracelet designs, but even the approach that I usually take to building them.

IMG_9809In this case, there was no way around it, I simply had to start at one end, and work my way along.  It took a bit of staring time… looking with a slightly unfocused eye, to find the beads that were a little too dark or too light in their position.

IMG_9805Beads shuffled up or down the line by a position or two, but basically, this was built from very dark to very light in a straight line.  I expected the result to be somewhat conceptual – interesting, but not necessarily something I’d be dying to put on and wear.  This bracelet surprised me, because it was a delight to wear!  It didn’t matter how the bracelet turned on my wrist, there was always a visual treat.


It helped that every single one of these colours makes my heart sing… (I call them “Singapore Sling” colours..)


Clockwise from clasp:  “Limited Edition Chess Lock”, “Rosa Pearl”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Kimono Bead”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Tibet Series Takma”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Golden Cave”, “Unique Amber”, Chocolate Parrot” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Issey” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Ruby”, “Unique Glass”.



30 Day Challenge: Day 11


Today’s bracelet is another twist on my Pomegranates & copper colour combination – but this time instead of going light, I’ve gone dark!  Today is decadent Raspberry and rich Chocolate for a delicious bracelet.  The saturated clarets, berries and reds of this bracelet

IMG_9443could be overwhelming for me – I usually lean towards the West Coast water colour tones.  However, when I teased this combination together I was delighted to find that the addition of the deep natural browns seems to soften the impact of the cherry tones, making it much more wearable for me!  This will very definitely be back together again after the end of the challenge…


IMG_9442It all began, of course, with a Ruby.  (as so many happy Troll Tales do…) I placed it right in the middle, where it could hog the spotlight the way Rubies like to.  I framed it with a couple of interesting, muddled up browns for texture and shimmer… Hard to believe that the bead at right is an Azure Bubbles – and then just took it from there!


IMG_9441Funny thing… I like to try to imagine the artisans who make our beads… and I have an imaginary scenario that I play with in my strange brain, where some artist is slightly disgruntled about the retirement of “Brown Desert”.  After that lovely bead was retired I noticed quite a few ultra-dark examples of “Blue Desert”, as if somewhere there was a glass artist who just wouldn’t let go of the brown!  Continuing in my silly fantasy story:  perhaps after he was told to stop making deserts he decided to start making “Brown Bubbles”, and the above bead is the happy result!  Silly, I know, but it makes me happy.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp” (retired format), “Red-Pink Prism” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Bee on Hive” (retired), Scott Bouwens Artisan Glass Bead, “Unique Glass”, “Tigers Eye”, “Shortcut” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Ruby with Silver Core”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Spot” (retired), “Smoky Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Bee on Hive” (retired), Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”.


What Trollbeads Am I wearing? Spicy Pink Mix


IMG_8363I love pairing my bracelets.  I don’t consciously create designs planning to wear them together, but I am always delighted by the effect of pairing various designs.  It’s a whole sub-area of composition!

Today I’m sharing a few snaps of two of my recently renovated bracelets, showing how they can play

IMG_8364nicely together…

Originally these two bracelet palettes were combined into one design that I affectionately called “Copper & Pomegranates”.  It ranged from deep crimson to lightest rose pink, with a healthy dose of sparkle and some spicy undertones.  I loved it and wore it a ton!

IMG_8362In fact, I loved those colours so very much that I slowly ended up adopting a number of similarly coloured beads that wound up being someone inappropriately sprinkled among other designs, in an attempt to justify their acquisition.  (“I want I need I must have”… don’t judge me…)  In the end I had to face facts…


IMG_8361My beloved bracelet had in fact expanded to become two.  So, I sat down and considered… I could have simply created a second, very similar “Copper & Pomegranates”, but I decided that it was much more interesting to create two quite different, complementary bracelets.  This gives me so many more options!

IMG_8365Now I can wear the two bracelets together or apart – or pair each of them with other designs for lots of new combinations.  For example, I often wear the soft pink together with my other pastel blue or green compositions for a completely different look.  The raspberry and chocolate bracelet is wonderful with other earth tones.


In the end, I’m delighted with the changes to what felt like an absolutely “sacred” composition.  I have photos, I can always restore it to its former self… but right now I am loving the new mix!


Clockwise from clasp:  “Double Lobster Clasp” (retired form), “Pink Prism”, “Silver Bead with Garnets” (retired), “Pink Desert”, “Unique Amber”, “Trollbeads Day 2014 Limited Edition”, “Artisan Stone”, “Goldstone” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Bead of Fortune part A”, “Golden Cave”, “Custom Bead by Georgina of Trollbeads Canada”, “Golden Cave”, “Bead of Fortune part B”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Kimono Bead Limited Edition”, “Anniversary Troll Limited Edition”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Tupilak” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Rosa Pearl”.


Clockwise from clasp: “Double Lobster Clasp” (retired form), “Red Pink Prism” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Sparrow” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Zanzibar” (retired), “Brown Desert” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Ruby with silver core”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, (I know – crazy, right?), “Van Gogh Netherlands World Tour Limited Edition”, “Unique Glass”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Heart”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”.




A Very Tartooful Christmas to You


It’s hard to believe, but here we are at Christmas Eve already.  The year has simply flown past!

IMG_7815I simply adore Christmas, everything about it is so terribly Tartooful.

It’s a time of beauty and light in the middle of our darkest months… a time to connect with family…

IMG_7816to find and share treasures with loved ones… to indulge the senses and to perform revered family rituals and traditions.  Is there anything more fun than finding that perfect treat that will light up the eyes of loved ones?


IMG_7813On this special day of the year I’d like to share with you, as Tartooful’s little treat to you, this fabulous Christmas bracelet that belongs to one of our equally lovely ladies.  Isn’t it perfect?  With a gorgeous mixture of small & beautiful uniques, limited editions, Christmas themed uniques and just the right silvers, this is a meticulously designed bracelet that will delight for years to come.  It was such fun for us to see the design take shape, and finally be finished just in time for the Christmas season.


clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Christmas Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Christmas Unique”, “Mistletoe”, “Christmas Unique”, “Unique”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2013”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Swan”, “Christmas Unique”, “Christmas Unique”, “Christmas Limited Edition 2013”, “Unique”, “Christmas Unique”, “Mistletoe”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique”.

From our family to yours…. Wishing you peace and prosperity, health and happiness for the Christmas Season and for the New Year to come!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Double it up for Christmas


IMG_7712I was playing with all the beautiful, rich red Trollbeads uniques here at the gallery and it occurred to me that they were just stunning grouped together as a pure red expression.  Then I thought…. I would wear this with a green bracelet over the holidays,

IMG_7713to create an instant Christmas themed arm party without actually combining red and green in one bracelet!  What do you think?  Would you layer a red bracelet with a green one to say “Christmas”?

The brilliance of the plan, of course, is in its flexibility.  After Christmas the red could be combined with

IMG_7706black and gold for a gorgeous New Year’s display… Next one could add pure white to the green for a fresh start that feels like Snowdrops for the austere month of January.  In February the red bracelet could really shine with the addition of a few well chosen pinks or perhaps some heart themed silvers to celebrate Valentine’s.


A collection of rich reds, recklessly blended…


Glittering greens…


Clockwise from clasp:  “Bow Lock”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Christmas 2014 Limited Edition”, “Water”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Christmas 2013 Limited Edition”, “Snowball”, “Unique”, “Christmas 2014 Limited Edition”, “Unique”, “Mistletoe”, “Christmas 2013 Limited Edition”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Winter Berries”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique”.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Bow Lock”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Unique”, “Apple of Wisdom”, “Unique”, “unique”, “Unique”, “Eternal Love’, “Unique”, “Green Jasper’, “Unique”, “Crystal Heart”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Heart 4 you”, “Unique”, “Unique”.

IMG_7705So this is my new holiday approach: play with beads and bracelets that you already have, give them a fresh twist with a few additions, and see how they can be artfully combined to create a festive look!  Red and green may be the most traditional, but fresh colour combinations such as pink and gold, black white & gold or sapphire and white would all sing during this holiday season.


Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 28


How can it be day 28 already?!

IMG_5987The time on this challenge has truly flown by, and just like last year, I feel as though I have so many colour combinations and designs yet to try.  It’s time to dig deep, and make sure that I throw out a few more preconceptions about “how to troll” before the end of our exercise.  I gave some thought to which “rules” I have continued to hold dear

IMG_5986 through the past month and realized that there are still a few walls to break down.

First I realized that I still tend to create groupings of three, five seven and so on.  The old rule about arranging flowers still holds true for me when composing bracelets, and I should really explore even numbers as well.  So today you’ll see a bracelet with lots of pairs of beads – which is sure to be a good thing from a Feng Shui point of view!  Second, I still load up on glass and use the silvers to divide groupings of glass.  So today I tried to use the silvers intelligently as an equal partner with the glass, and I am pleased with the result.

IMG_5984Finally, I realized that I had never placed this juicy red bead on a design this challenge, so I decided to build the entire bracelet around it.  The white pattern on the glass suggests a red and white bracelet, but I find that it’s a little too “major holiday” for me to wear.  By placing it among honey golds and warm chestnut browns it settles the red and gives an overall rich feel.  Much more wearable for me!  It’s the perfect bracelet to add lots of silver as well – the silver is neutral and calming for these saturated colours.


Only two days to go… what’s at the bottom of your bead bowl?  Time to dust off those hard-to-use beads and give them a design of their own….





Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 21


IMG_5852Today I am in the mood for one of my favorite colour combinations… I love playing my rich ruby together with my soft greyed blues.  It’s an unlikely palette, but one that I find fresh and pleasing to the eye.  The Ruby can play as a warm and toasty red when combined with chestnut or golden ambers, smoky

IMG_5851quartz and earth toned glass.  However, here in the company of these hazy blues it feels more like a blackberry-stained claret.  As always, it is helpful to have a couple of beads that pull the palette together nicely in one package… here I have used the older unique shown above, with its distinctive pale portion and perfect combination of

IMG_5853burgundy and pale blue.  I also added this very unusual form of “Aurora Flower”, which is very light and transparent, showing only a hint of the fuschia tone that is usually found in this design.  What is left is a soft, warm amber-y pink with palest blue flowers.  I used my “Silver Bead with Garnet” and “Red-Pink” prism” (retired) to echo the colour of the centerpiece ruby.


IMG_5854In today’s bracelet I also wished to reduce the proportion of glass, and alternate evenly with silver.  As everyone knows, I usually gorge on glass…   Here I’ve used my favorite, very round silvers to pace the glass in the middle, and have balanced the form of the “Silver Bead with Garnets” with the simililarly shaped “Auspicious”.  I’ve even finished this one with a matched pair of  silver “Bee on Hive”.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp”, “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Unique”, “Silver Bead with Garnets” (retired), “Light Blue Shadow” (retired), “Ball of Yarn”, “Aurora Flower”, “Petanque” (retired), “Ruby”, “Etruscan”, “Unique”, “Zanzibar” (retired), “Silver Mountain”, “Auspicious” (Limited Edition World Tour Hong Kong), “Red Pink Prism” (retired), “Bee on Hive” (retired).



Trollbeads design Challenge: Day 15


IMG_5775Today’s bracelet was inspired by a recent visit from a dear friend and fellow Trollie.  She brought her entire collection to Tartooful for a real play session, (so much fun!) and together we created some spectacular pieces, including a full necklace of ambers, a couple of silver bracelets and even a couple of leather ones.

IMG_5774 Looking over her favorite bracelets I noticed that they all had one design element in common:  a rich touch of garnet red.  In some cases it was a particularly scarlet armadillo, in many others it was a rarely seen unique, such as a crimson “magic carpet” or a complex window pane pattern.  Even on bracelets of a subtle, celadon palette there was

IMG_5773still one or two little notes of this distinctive, ruby red.  Seen in only one or two bracelets it would be eye catching…But in a gorgeous mess of bracelets, spilling across the table… well it was a feast for the senses.  This collection’s rich, pomegranate theme is absolutely a reflection of its fabulous owner’s personality and taste.


After she left I was so inspired, and went home with a play tray in tow, determined to play with my own collection and create a design that felt “KT”.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”, “Faces” (retired), “Red-Pink Prism” (retired), “Golden Cave”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Rooster”, “Blue Desert”, “Unique Amber”, “Azure Bubbles”, “World Tour Hong Kong Auspicious”, “Blue Desert”, “Ruby”, “Brown Desert”, “Jugend”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Custom Unique by Irina of Trollbeads Canada”, “Unique Amber”, “Silver Bead with Garnets”, “Tigers Eye”, “Petanque” (retired), “Artisan Bead by Scott Bouwens”, “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”.

It doesn’t take very much of this spectacular colour to make an impact on a design… in this case I built the entire bracelet around the crimson red, but the next time I play with it I’d like to see if I can integrate it into a bracelet as an unlikely “surprise” of colour, as KT so often does.  It gives a wonderful energy to a composition, and prevents it from feeling too studied.  So many bracelets…so little time!