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.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Dress Up Like a Tree

red-cosy…What Trees Know

red-cosy-danglelooking out the window at the garden this morning one colour stands out.  It’s clear that the trees and plants in my garden know a thing or two about dressing up for this season.  Everywhere there are flourishes of rich ruby red.  It’s in the lacy leaves of the maples, in the berries dotted about, and in the last stubborn flowers of the year.

red-cosy-berryThis warm and winter-y colour always inspires me… From cosy knit sweaters on a crisp morning, to woolly plaid blankets thrown over a comfy chesterfield (that’s a sofa for you non-Canucks…)  to my cranberry coloured duffle coat with antler toggles…

red-cosy-front…It’s all very “Autumn”.

Wonderful, isn’t it?  Really, for me, red makes up for the fact we’re going into the dark months.  This is the time of year that I wear my red-pink-cinnamon bracelet the very most, and I just love it every time I put it on.


This bracelet is one we made up for display at the gallery… so if there’s anything that catches your eye be sure to look for it at Tartoofultoo online shop – or give us a ring at 604.924.0122 or drop us a line at





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: 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 Autumn 2013 Tomorrow…


Oh my… just look at this teaser photo from Trollbeads.  The colours are just delicious, aren’t they?!

Can’t wait to show off all the new bead designs to you tomorrow!  Be sure to come visit us to see them all and have a good play…


Trollbeads Inspiration: Red China


IMG_1913At Tartooful we often are inspired to create an entire composition by just one bead, and that’s exactly what happened here… Cristi has always been fond of the now-retired “Red China”, and when one arrived at the shop she couldn’t wait to play!


IMG_1909Trollbeads romantically described “Red China” this way:

“Spring festival in China, or Chinese New Year, has inspired this bead.  Fireworks and glowing man-made comets alight in the rosy sunset.”

IMG_1910One can see at a glance that this is an older Lise Aagaard design.  When I first got to know Trollbeads it was still in the collection, perfectly current.  Now this sought-after bead, with it’s simple style, and basic pattern arrayed across the surface of the bead, seems charmingly naive.  It’s a beautiful reminder of how far Trollbeads design has evolved.

IMG_1911It’s amazing that after all this time, its colours are still perfectly in tune with current fashion trends… with jewel tones showing strongly in the Autumn collections, one is sure to be wearing ruby red, teal and vicuna.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Lock”, “Unique”, “Turquoise Prism”, “Ladybug”, “Unique Amber”, “Forget-me-not”, “Universal Unique”, “Red China – retired”, “Three Flowers”, “Coral Wave”, “Green Flower Mosaic”, “Eidelweiss – world tour Switzerland”, “Golden Quartz”, “Mountain Flower”, “Unique”, “Belly Chakra”.




Inspiration from Trollbeads: A Stroll in the June Garden

june-inspiration“Lovely scents are in the air and beauty is all around you. We present the June Inspiration bracelet, Garden Stroll.”

I always enjoy the monthly inspiration bracelets from Trollbeads, but this bracelet is particularly delightful!  I’m inspired by its deft handling of coral toned beads; blending them with lilac and a touch or rich purple in an unexpected palette that sings.  It includes favorite silvers such as “Forget Me Not”, “Lotus” and “Ladybug”, but also lesser used treasures such as 18k Gold Bouquet.  “Three Flowers, Gold” is one of the gold beads that we most admire, with its gorgeous shimmering dichroic glass jewels.  It looks particularly lovely next to the Rosa pearl, where it reflects the pearls’s soft peach blush. The addition of rich gold beads such as these is like a ray of sunshine in the garden.


Interesting to note that Trollbeads has employed a fresh design strategy… In the linear photo above it’s clear to see that they have created smaller colour groupings that balance each other on either side of a central Amethyst.  However, they have not blended the two colour elements of coral and lilac together – each is separated into it’s own area of the bracelet.  They also have not attempted perfect balance of gold and silver, or adhered to the rigid rule of larger silvers in the middle, tapering to smaller at the outside.  The bracelet is stunning, and so a good reminder to us to keep our guidelines loose and enjoy the overall impact of the bracelet, rather than obsessing over every internal detail.

Next up:  The 30 day bracelet design challenge….



Trollbeads Inspiration: Tulips


DSCN7386Tulips are one of my very favorite flowers, and always a welcome sight in the garden this time of year.  Here on the West Coast we are blessed with fantastic tulip conditions, with a winter that is cold enough to induce the flower to re bloom, and summers that are warm enough to satisfy the bulb’s need to keep its feet dry for a time.


DSCN7389Species, or wild Tulips are native to Turkey and are the understated distant cousins to today’s highly bred descendents.  First hybridized during the Ottoman empire, tulips were introduced to Europe by an ambassador who sent bulbs and seeds home to Vienna in the 1500s.  It didn’t take long for this dramatically different

DSCN7384flower to capture the imagination of the passionate gardeners of the time, and by the 1590’s it was unbelievably fashionable in the Netherlands to collect these gorgeous plants.  You can imagine why the newly wealthy merchant class was entranced by these beauties – no one had ever seen such saturated colour and drama.

DSCN7380During the heat of the “Tulip Mania” that followed, intense cross-breeding created a vast multitude of appearances and colours of the plant, and fortunes were made and lost by selling, investing and speculating on these plants.  At the height of the mania, a desirable bulb could sell for many times the wage of a talented artisan.

DSCN7385It was the original economic bubble.  However, the lasting effect of this time is a thriving business that to this day is a significant element of The Netherlands’ culture, and of course, an ever growing vast variety of tulips for us to enjoy.  Plant them in the Autumn before first frost, and enjoy them in April – or simply pick up a pretty bunch and savour their fleeting beauty in a vase….

DSCN7376  C.

Trollbeads News: Wear your Heart on your Wrist….


“Fill my heart with song

Let me sing for ever more

You are all I long for

All I worship and adore.

In other words, please be true

In other words, I love you”

Frank Sinatra, from “Fly Me To The Moon”


…Valentines 2013 tassels, now in stock at Tartooful!



Trollbeads Inspiration: PY’s “Alice in Wonderland” Bracelet


“There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

This highly original bracelet draws inspiration from the classic childrens’  book.  With a crisp palette and clever references to key moments in the complex and surrealistic story,  it’s a witty and madly pretty  bracelet design.

The rosy and white palette, with occasional touches of warm grey and black, evokes the court of the Queen of Hearts… filled with her Deck of Cards courtiers in a garden where only red roses were allowed to bloom.The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is in full swing in the UK world tour design, “English Tea Party”.  The guests  are gathered on the brim of an old fashioned hat.  So whimsical…
A sweet kitten strikes a pose that evokes the smiling Cheshire Cat.

Here I love the sweet touches of pink and lilac paired with the red… it feels playful and so ingenue.  The sophisticated and subtle “White Steel” offers a strong juxtaposition.  A perfect reminder of the enduring power of Carroll’s seemingly childish story.

Red Feather is shockingly beautiful under the macro lens…

Photographing this bracelet made me appreciate once again the painstaking work that goes into the creation of each and every bead.  The meticulously layered glass that is visible under magnification is simply fascinating.  For example, I had never before noticed the layers of raspberry and clear glass that compose this familiar bead…

“she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!”

Clockwise from clasp:  “Pearl Lock”, “Malawi Unique”, “Coral Wave”, “Love Locks” (Italy World Tour), “Classic Unique”, “Kitten”, “Malawi Unique”, “Blue Desert”, “Double Heart”, “Malawi Unique”, “Black Onyx”, “Classic Unique”, “English Tea Party” (UK World Tour), “Red Feather” (Retired), “Desert Flower”, “Pink Bud” (Retired), “Deck of Cards”, “Malawi Unique”, “White Steel”, “Summer Bud”.

Don’t miss the crowning touch… a “Pearl Lock”, for a final peek of luxe white.

Thank you to the lovely PY for generously allowing us to share her bracelet…

…And that, as they say, is

The End.


PS.  One More Sleep!  Don’t forget – put on your latest design, and come join us for a glass of bubbly on Thursday, from Noon to eight pm.  Meet fellow Trollies, enter for a door prize, and browse our fabulous Trunk Show stock!