Trollbeads Inspiration: Dream Bracelet, Dream Collection…

Recently we had the privilege of meeting JR, a lovely lady with a quick sense of humour and great perspective on life.  She’s a long time Trollie who had already built a gorgeous collection of beads.  It’s rare for us to come across a collection in full swing – usually we are involved from the beginning, and see it grow over time!  This particular collection began quite a few years ago, and went on hiatus when her local dealer had to close, so there are very few newer beads in the group, and a great many lovely and rare, retired designs.

Over the next few days we’ll explore her extraordinary collection, an education in Troll history which is a little like visiting the virtual Trollbeads Museum.


“Clown” (introduced 2002, retired 2008) and “Apple Green Bud” (introduced 2004, retired 2006).

Today we’re going to take a peek at a bracelet that the collector composed, inspired by a legendary “Vogue” design.  It truly is a dream bracelet, boasting multiples of hard to find, retired beauties.

  “Waterlily” (Introduced 1999, retired 2008).

“Fur Dot” (introduced 2005, retired 2008), “Grey Armadillo” (introduced 2005 retired 2008), “Waterlilies”(see above), “Green Dot” (introduced 2006 retired 2008).

“Green Dot” (see above), “Quatre” (introduced 1976 retired 2000), “Grey Armadillo” (see above).

Many of the beads featured on this soft and pretty bracelet are ones that Tartooful insiders covet – you’ll find “Grey Armadillo” on both Cristi’s and my bracelet, and it’s one that many of us wish was still in the regular collection.  The bead designs that repeat on this bracelet add a lovely rhythm to the composition, and as always each example has it’s own, distinct personality.  The “Fur Dot”, in particular is expressed very differently from one example to another…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Pearl Lock”, “Heart Stopper” (retired), “Chai Bud” (retired), “Green Dot” (retired), “Waterlily” (retired), “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Fur Dot” (retired), “Three Siblings”, “Apple Green Bud” (retired), “Clown” (retired), “Fur Dot” (retired), “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Quatre” (retired), “Green Dot” (retired), “Chai Bud” (retired), “Heart Stopper” (retired).

Out of all the amazing retired beads on this bracelet, possibly the most exciting, and rare is one of the most unassuming little beads in the composition.  Notice tiny “Quatre”, nestled between the “Grey Armadillo and the “Green Dot” on the left side of the bracelet.  This is a bead that neither Cristi or I had ever heard of, much less seen.  It was one of the original Trollbeads designs, introduced in the very first year, 1976!  What a treat to be able to see it on this fascinating bracelet.

Despite its wealth of elusive and retired bead designs, this bracelet is highly wearable.  With its fresh, aqua and ivory colour theme it’s perfect for this time of year, and is even complemented by the 2012 Spring collection colours beautifully.  Like all Troll, it has worn gracefully and is in like-new condition, making it much more than a Trollbeads museum piece – it’s a beloved piece of personal jewellery that can be worn and enjoyed everyday.

Stay tuned for more of JR’s amazing collection…



Happy Long Weekend, Happy Bracelet

Hello Tartoofulers, I hope you are all having a lovely long weekend – and that you managed to squeeze all your outdoor activities into our one sunny day!  I shuffled the plants in the garden around so they are enjoying a good rain to help them settle in.

Today I want to share a ray of sunshine with you – RT’s Happy Bracelet!

This bracelet was inspired by her acquisition of two cheerful “Manga” beads.  They set the fresh, lime green, black and white palette, upon which she has expanded with her trademark array of big, beautiful uniques and oversized silvers.

The “Troll Coin” usually stands head and shoulders above other beads on a bracelet, but here it fits right in, next to this enormous green, black and white spotted unique.  A number of the glass repeat the design element of dots, including the LE glass Egg.

This, latest addition to the bracelet was a fortunate find… Lime green was one of the rare colours from this Spring Limited Edition, and even more so with these perfect white speckles.  Attached to the small end of the clasp, it makes a chic addition to the bracelet.

The silvers further echo the theme of happiness… here “Happy Fish” in 18k gold and silver is pictured.  This petite bead is best featured as RT has done, next to the clasp at the end of a bracelet where its highly detailed fish images may be seen and enjoyed.

“Happy Universe” shows the smiling sun in 18k gold, the moon in silver and scattered all around are stars…

Clockwise from clasp”  “Freja Knot Lock”, “Happy Fish, 18k and silver”, “Green Stripe Bubble”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac series x 3”, “Unique”, “Troll Coin”, “Unique”, “Gekko”, “Manga Bead”, “Happy Universe”, “Manga”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac series x 3”, “Unique”, “Jugend”, “Limited Edition Easter Egg”.

Note how RT has clustered her Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac beads to give them additional visual impact.  These beads are quite slender, and might get lost among the oversized glass and silver that RT selected for this design.  By grouping them in this way they function together as a single large silver, and have a wonderful effect.

There’s always something to learn from RT’s designs… (Thank you, RT!)


Trollbeads Inspiration: “Urban Jungle”

You may have noticed that there are some dazzling new images on the Trollbeads Home website of

Troll has started designing a “Bracelet of the Month”, and for May 2012 they are showing “Urban Jungle” for our pleasure and inspiration.

This sophisticated take on Spring Green caught our eye in the new dealer binder pages issued this past January.  With some of our very favorite greens, silver in modern forms, chic charcoal grey and a touch of gold, it feels cool, stylish and spot on for the unique blend of city and forest that is North Vancouver.


Includes:  “Freya Lock”, “Turquoise Feather”, “Three Flowers”, “Grey Wolf”, “Snowflake Obsidian”, “Frames”, “Green Prism”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Forget Me Not”, “Eye Bead”, “Aventurine”, “High Heel”, “Earth”, “Around the World”, “Labradorite” and “Lake Eye”.




Trollbeads: All In Bloom

Spring has officially sprung, and the Trollbeads are coming into full bloom!  To celebrate, we thought we’d share some of the outstanding flower bracelets that we’ve seen over the last little while…

Of course, the Spring 2012 collection included lots of lovely fresh flower designs, including this “Snowdrop” which is of course, really an Easter Egg in disguise!  This bead adds a delicate touch to a necklace or a bracelet.

The country-fresh tones of the Aquarelle series act as the foundation for my daughter Odette’s bracelet… In this pretty garden design you’ll find “French Anemones”, “Wisteria”, and “Buttercup”, with birds such as “owl” and “Sparrow” tucked in between.

There are lovely garden images among the silver designs, as well… “Rose”, “Hydrangea”, “Forget-me-not”, “Large & Small Berries”, “Lotus”, and many others have become classics in the collection.  Blending these with Spring colour creates a Troll Garden.

Flower beads can be artfully combined to make a subtle, tone-on-tone composition…either soft and natural, or monochrome bright and sunny!

This bracelet still stands out, a couple of years after we created it at Tartooful… Yellow can be difficult to wear, but the inclusion here of “Yellow Jade”, “Beige Bubbles” and “Honey Dawn” softens the impact of this power colour to make an everyday favorite.

This gorgeous ring is stealing hearts at Tartooful at the moment… it’s very reminiscent of midnight flowers, but artfully cradled in a beautifully wrought tendril of silver that wraps comfortably around one’s finger.  It’s impossible to take one’s eyes off it when it’s on one’s hand.

We made up this juicy composition when the Spring 2012 collection was first released.  It includes “Forest Flowers”, “Forget-me-not”, “Cherry Blossom”, “Flowers”, the “Green Flower Tassel” and of course the dramatic new clasp, “Catching Hearts”.

Finally, the “Girly-girliest” of all the Flower beads:  “Grandma’s Favorite” – the quintessential Spring Flower design…

Stay tuned for even more flowers…


Trollbeads World Tour: Welcome to Hong Kong!

Trollbeads announced the next stop on their World Tour today:

Hong Kong!

Welcome to Hong Kong – where East meets West!

Hong Kong is a unique and lively city, which is also renowned for its expansive beautiful skyline and a deep natural harbour.

A very high population and a lack of space has made Hong Kong into the world’s most vertical city, and today it is considered a centre of modern architecture. The culture of Hong Kong is often described as “East meets West.”

The natural and in-born Chinese traditional cultures are often reflected in daily life and are passed down from generation to generation. The dragon and the phoenix are still symbols of power and blessing, not forgetting the traditional game of “Mahjong”. The Chinese auspicious writings and wordings are spread during the Chinese New Year celebrations.”

I had the pleasure of visiting this extraordinary place a couple of years ago, and came away inspired, humbled and feeling as though I had a better understanding of my own home town, Vancouver.  It’s natural that Trollbeads would want to honor such an amazing place.  Congratulations to Hong Kong on a beautiful collection of beads in your honour!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Snowdrops!

The first snowdrops are in bloom in my garden, bravely shoving the winter debris aside and glowing in the pale sunlight… It’s the perfect inspiration to play with some of Trollbeads Spring 2012 collection:

There is, actually, a new design among the collection named “Snowdrop”.  Fittingly, it’s a tassel that hangs below the bracelet or necklace, adding a little textural variety to a composition.  It features a delicate green and white flower suspended in a clear glass drop, hanging by a beautifully detailed circle of sterling silver.  The crystal clear glass feels like a drop of water, suspended for just a moment.

I’ve used both of the new armadillo beads to this composition:  “Mixed Green Armadillo” and “Cream Armadillo” are welcome additions to the collection.  The “Mixed Green” is going to find a home on so many ocean themed bracelets, with its rich blend of turquoise and emerald green… and the “Cream Armadillo” is lovely with both crisp whites and warm ivories, making it very versatile.

The new “Forest Anemone” gives a nod to another of Spring’s earliest blossoms.  These tiny flowers naturalize in forested areas and blanket the ground in early Spring if they are given a chance.  They must be a common sight in Denmark each Spring, as Trollbeads makes reference to them many times in the collection… in the Limited Edition Denmark World Tour Stop there was an anemone bead:

There are a few other anemone references in the Trollbeads collection, including the “Wood Anemone” sterling silver earring dangles and the delicate and pretty “French Anemone” glass bead from the Aquarelle series.

The “Opposites” bead might seem large to have on such a delicately coloured bracelet, but I thought it was an ideal way to refer to the extremes of weather that we experience this time of year… from cold, blustery and miserable one moment, to glorious warm sunshine the next… This time of year is one of extremes.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Clasping Hearts”, “Mixed Green Armadillo”, “Organic Hearts”, “Cream Armadillo”, “Paradise Birds”, “Snowdrop Tassel”, “Green Stripe Bubble”, “Forget me not”, “Nougat Flowers”, “Opposites”, “Forest Anemone”, “Cherry Blossom”, “White Paper Fold”, “Carved Flowers”, “Forest Anemone”, “Organic Heart”, “Crown Chakra”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: New Designs by Trollbeads for Valentine’s

The new bead designs for Spring of 2012 have clearly inspired the folks at Trollbeads as much as they have us… They’ve given us a fresh, “Valentine’s Bracelet” Composition for 2012 that has us drooling…

Soft, subtle, delicate and fresh.. it’s classic Trollbeads!  The new Ruby is the star, of course, and it looks perfect nestled among these lovely lavenders.  The gold “Mountain Flower” is a treat for the eyes… (It’s secretly an Easter Egg… look at it sideways the next time you’re in the shop….)  The deep indigo “Purple Flower Tassel” adds interest to the composition, and the limited edition striped agate grounds the design.  I’m happy to see the “Lavender Prism” at play here, as we have a unusually sparkly, absolutely beautiful one in the shop and we’ve been having fun trying it out with different combinations.

I think the best part about this bracelet design is that it embraces frankly feminine, pretty and sparkling – but is not at all “girly”.  This is a Valentine for grown-ups…


Trollbeads Inspiration: NO’s ruby bracelet

With the recent release of the Spring 2012 Trollbeads collection comes a very exciting new treat:  a silver core “Ruby”… this bead was previously only available with a gold core, a beautiful and luxurious item that only found a home on a few, special bracelets.  While the new bead doesn’t have that luxe touch of gold, it is more accessible for most of us, and a welcome addition to the collection…

One of our favorite ladies, the talented and super sweet NO scooped a gold core Ruby last summer. We thought this was a good time to check in and see how she is using it, to offer our readers some inspiration in creating their own Ruby bracelets.

This Ruby is nestled between two other extraordinary beads:  a gold initial “N”, and a gold and diamond “Stars”.  Together they are absolutely stunning.  It takes a moment to absorb just those beads, before moving on to notice the rest of the bracelet – which is classic NO, and so lovely…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Lock”, “Black Silk”, “Autumn Splendour”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Drifting Seeds”, “Summer Jewel, big”, “Triple Pearl, Black”, “Brown Desert”, “Gold Initial N”, “Gold Core Ruby”, “Stars”, “Deep Bubbles” (retired), “Purple Bud”, “Rolling Waves”, “Golden Cave”, “Silver Whorl”, “Unique Amber”, “Transformation”, “Unique Alabaster Amber”, “Safety Chain”.

Thank you, NO for inspiring us, as always…


Trollbeads Inspiration: CF updates for Spring 2012

CF’s remarkable designs have been an inspiration to many of us over the past couple of years… Her exquisite taste and uncompromising vision result in perfectly balanced compositions in absolutely gorgeous combinations of colour.

She selected this limited edition bead when it was released for the Denmark collection on Trollbeads’ World Tour.  “Anemones” is such a lovely creation, that it wouldn’t surprise me if it inspired much of the Spring 2012 “crispy green” collection.

At our celebration of the Universal Uniques last year she found two gorgeous additions to the composition:  the glass wave designs at right have wonderfully fluid patterns and feature unusual colour combinations.

With the release of the new Spring 2012 collection, CF found a couple of worthy additions… First, a “Forest Flowers” that beautifully echoes the original “Anemones”, while still having its own unique personality.

Newly released “Green Wave” tapers the bracelet down to the “Fish Lock”, and balances the Unique beads.  The ends are perfectly matched for colour, but subtly different in size of pattern.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Green Wave”, “Caribbean”, “Earth”, “Pisces”, “Mixed Armadillo”, “Turquoise Bubble”, “Treasures”, “Forest Flowers”, “Lime” (retired), “Blue Agate”, “Glass Trolls”, “Blue Agate”, “Anemones”, “Silver Trace, Green-Turquoise”, “Ocean”, “Peter”, “Turquoise Armadillo”, “Pisces”, “Heart Chakra”, “Universal Unique Aqua Wave”, “Universal Unique Small Green Ripple”.

Thank you to CF for allowing us to share this beautiful update to her Ocean bracelet… stay tuned for other bracelet updates over the next few days!


Trollbeads Spring 2012 Collection Announced

It’s officially January 27th, and we can finally show you all the gorgeous new treats that Trollbeads has created for us!  Please join us at Tartooful for the reveal – we open at 10 am!  We’ll be celebrating with champagne & orange juice or coffee…

“On January 27, 2012 we welcome the new season with the 2012 Spring Collection. This we do with a large and very exciting collection with which we hope to create interest and joy for you and Trollbeads friends from all over the world.

The flowers are in full bloom in this collection – both in glass, silver and gold. Feel the air, the heat and the scents and have a cup of coffee or tea and a delicious homemade cake. Coffee Mug, Teacup and Cake Form are designed by our new Trollbeads designer and specialist in silver tableware, Silversmith Lone Lovshal.

This spring, we also welcome Lars Sögaard as a new designer with Trollbeads. Lars is inspired by graphic artist M.C. Escher’s work, and he works with silhouettes forming the next pattern on the bead.

Enjoy the beautiful and elegant colors of the creamy kit and have a look at the beautiful flowers in the most crispy green spring colors. Little cute rabbits jump happily around in the grass and above it all, flies a silver phoenix – the mythical bird – seen as a sign of rebirth.

Be trendy with the most exquisite black striped onyx kit, and of course, we can never get enough hearts in the collection for the upcoming events of Valentine’s Day and for this, we bring you the most beautiful little heart bead in silver and as a special treat, we offer you the new and very special Double Heart Lock.”

Stay tuned as we unveil all the designs in detail…