30 Day Challenge – Day 13

IMG_9592“…and now for something completely different…”

IMG_9591Today I decided it was time to kick myself a little out of my comfort zone, and try to design from a different approach.  Usually I am very much colour based in my compositions.  The silvers basically offer me a framework around which I hang all my chunks of colour.  Today I decided to be much more flexible about colour.

IMG_9590Instead, today I sorted out my beads into size categories, and committed to work only with my very tiniest silver and glass beads.  Of course, in the wake of the “Small and Beautiful” series, we all have some smaller beads bouncing around in our bead boxes.  I usually try to use their smaller size to advantage, and place them

IMG_9588close to the end of the bracelet for an attractive tapered effect.  They can also be quite handy to ensure that certain silvers are not obscured.  For instance, “Happy Fish” is even happier when placed next to a Small & Beautiful, so that all its glorious detail can be seen.  However, I don’t think that I’ve ever built an entire bracelet of

IMG_9589“mini beads”, and I have to say I’m surprised and delighted with the result.  Firstly, I am shocked at just how many minis there are, hiding in my collection!  I guess that one on each end of seven or eight bracelets does really add up to about a whole bracelet’s worth.  The next thing I noticed was how amazing this bracelet *feels*. 

IMG_9593Teeny Tiny “Sandi” feels like a giant…

Rolling this bracelet around in the palm of my hand, it feels wonderful.  It’s so soft, so fluid and so unexpectedly petite… it’s a treat!  If you have never tried this approach, do give it a whirl it is so much fun.

IMG_9587This Armadillo never gets the coveted center spot…


Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Clasp” (retired), “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”, “Art Deco” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Cells” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Plait” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Happy Fish” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Happy Fish” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Van Gogh” (World Tour Series Netherlands), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Family of Mushrooms” (World Tour Series Lithuania), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Sandi” (retired), “Rosa Pearl”.


Trollbeads inspiration: Life Aquatic


IMG_6664Today’s bracelet is inspired by the arrival of a pair of wonderfully quirky and dotty green, black & white beads.  These two little beauties could have been the stars of so many possible designs, but now in the middle of the Summer it felt natural to create an aqua and white, water-themed design.  I absolutely love the design on these new

IMG_6661uniques… with their slightly abstract, splodgy design and three dimensional dots, they feel like quirky yet elegant little swamp creatures.  Perhaps not surprisingly, they pair perfectly with this year’s glass frog uniques.  Here, however, I have chosen to celebrate their crisp colour palette, and I have placed them among turquoise, aqua, buttercream yellow and white.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 5.53.41 PM“Ancient Palace” is a lovely addition to so many bracelets, and here its rich blue and gold shimmer simply glows.  I particularly enjoy this example of this bead, as it is subtly softer than many of the examples I have seen.  It’s just a little faded in spots, and the variation in the blue makes it even more appealing to me.

IMG_6659This unique glass bead, with its graphic criss cross pattern has appeared in a few different colours over the course of the Spring.  We have seen opaque, emerald green, black and white, and this clear turquoise version.  Here I placed it next to “Nomad”, whose cross hatched pattern echoes that of the glass next to it.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Urchin”, “Ancient Palace”, “White Paper Fold”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique”, “Mermaid”, “Unique”, “Amazonite”, “Unique”, “RollingWaves”, “Unique”, “Scirocco”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique”, “Nomad”, “Ancient Palace”, Unique”, “Unique”.

IMG_6665One final photo shows the lovely clear core on some of these unique turquoise budded beads… I love the way this clear layer allows the light to enter and shine back out again, as if the bead is illuminated from within… the Troll glass artists really are brilliant.






Trollbeads Inspiration: Pretty Little Things

pretty-little-things1so yummy…

pretty-little-things3Over the past few weeks we’ve been fortunate at Tartooful to receive lots of exquisite examples of classic core uniques in fresh colours and patterns…

pretty-little-things4They’re quite tiny for the most part, and I’m sure that they’re the same beads that are being marketed in some countries as “Small and Beautiful”… Here in Canada we haven’t given them a special name, but we just think they’re simply gorgeous.  We love how finely detailed they are!


Use these “Pretty Little Things” to start a new bracelet for your favorite little one… or have one on either end of a composition to taper beautifully to the lock.  Even an entire bracelet of these lovelies would be delightful!  So much fun…