Trollbeads Inspiration: “Just Like Heaven”


IMG_0571“Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream” she said
“The one that makes me laugh” she said
And threw her arms around my neck

“Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I’ll run away with you
I’ll run away with you”


IMG_0570Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed her face and kissed her head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make her glow
“Why are you so far away?” she said
“Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you
That I’m in love with you”


Soft and only
Lost and lonely
Strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You’re just like a dream
You’re just like a dream

IMG_0567Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes

And found myself alone, alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl I loved
And drowned her deep inside of me


Soft and lonely
Lost and lonely
Just like heaven.”

“Just Like Heaven” is track #1 on the album “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me”, by The Cure.  It was written by Smith, Robert James / Gallup, Simon / Thompson, Porl / Tolhurst, Laurence Andrew / Williams, Boris.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Golden Flower Clasp”, “Rosa Pearl”, “Unique Glass”, “Art Deco”, “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Mothers Rose”, “Unique Amber”, “Three Siblings”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Summer Dot”, “Flowers”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Unique Amber”, “Light Blue Stripe”, “Scarab”, “Silver Trace, Beige Blue” (retired), “Limited Edition Blue Quartz”, “Desert Flower”, “Trinity”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “traces”, “Paradise Birds” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Howlite”, “Rose of June”, “Limited Edition Howlite”, “Rose Quartz”, “Maternity 18k & silver”, “Unique Amber”, “Silver Mountain”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Unique Amber”, “Engraved Romance”, “Limited Edition Blue Quartz”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Limited Edition Howlite”, “Silver Trace, Beige-blue” (retired), “Dichroic Ice”, “Scarab”, “Pink Petals”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Scirocco”, Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Happy Fish 18k & Silver” (retired),  “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”.

All beads pictured are currently in stock at Tartooful.  604-924-0122


Trollbeads Inspiration: Midsummer Evening

IMG_0556dreamy, glowing and iridescent…

IMG_0550… this bracelet is inspired by the hazy, dreamy evenings of midsummer.  As hot days ease into warm nights, the sky slowly turns into the most perfect shade of luminous, periwinkle blue.  There’s a few magical minutes when the growing dusk is palpable, and we love to scan the sky, looking for the first few stars to appear.


IMG_0554When I composed this bracelet I first reached for beads that glowed with iridescence… then added more beads in all the colours of their shimmer.  The result is a complex and unexpected combination of indigo blues, teal greens and lilac purples.

I adore colours that are tricky to describe, that

IMG_0552hover subtly between clear shades – and this bracelet is full of blues that defy description.  “Wave of Dreams” is always wonderfully complex with myriad tones in its depths.  This example is no exception, and displays a wonderful range of blues from aqua to nearly navy.  Thanks to this bead, I was able to include blues of

IMG_0553 various shades – including some very denim-y Small & Beautiful uniques and the more periwinkle toned “Fountain of Life”.  This range of blues is similarly displayed in the violet blossoms in “Flowers on Indigo”, as well as the very blue “Black Flower Mosaic” and the lovely unique nestled next to the silver & dichroic “Trinity”.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Dragon Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Trinity”, “Aurora Flower”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Fountain of Life”, “Scarab”, “Scarab”, “Green Jasper”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Limited Edition Green Agate”, “Scarab”, “Moonlight Bubbles”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Unique Glass”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Blue Green Feather” (retired), “Unique Glass’.

Happy Summer…


Trollbeads Inspiration: The Softer Side of Coral

IMG_0497Sigh… this just says “Summer” to me…

IMG_0500Is there any colour that sings “Summer” more clearly than a rich, vibrant coral?  This delicious colour, poised neatly between red, orange and pink, is warm, exotic and downright tropical.  I’ve always adored the colour, and have often blended it with warm soft pinks for a sugary confection with just an edge of sexy.


IMG_0501Today I mulled how to tone down this rambunctious colour to make it more wearable every day.  Choosing all beads from within Tartooful’s current stock, I found the unique glass at left, with its unusual combination of espresso, softest grey blue and dots of hot coral.  It’s the perfect inspiration for an everyday coral composition!


IMG_0496First I found a group of glorious corals to play with… the Summer Stones 2015 series offers Matte Orange Agate, as well as polished Carnelian. The contrasting textures and range of natural, spicy tones make these designs a pleasure to work with.  Next, I tried various neutral and softer toned beads as companions…

IMG_0495The inspiration unique has a generous dose of espresso brown, so it would have been easy to select various chocolate and walnut brown elements and blend them with the corals.  Perhaps the addition of some clear or ivory beads for some punch?  I tried this approach, and it resulted in a gorgeous combination – but it felt much dressier

IMG_0499than I envisioned.  My goal was a bracelet that would be super easy to wear on a daily basis, with sun dresses, shorts and even jeans.  I started again, and this time I emphasized the soft grey blue that was also found on the unique.  “traces”, “Silver Mountain”, “Sandstone” and “Aquarium Pastel” all have that sublime, subtle blue, combined with a touch of earthy texture that make them perfect for this bracelet.

IMG_0493  Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Carnelian”, “Lucky Knot”, “Golden Cave”, “Sandstone”, “Royal”, “Orange Agate”, “Three Siblings”, “Orange Agate”, “Traces”, “Orange Agate”, “Path of Life”, “Carnelian”, “Three in one”, “Coral Bubbles” (retired), “Aquarium Pastel” (retired), “Art Deco” (retired), “Carnelian”, “Silver Mountain”.

After a bit of play, I found a balance of coral and blue, silver and glass that make my eyes happy… I would happily slip this bracelet on everyday this Summer!



Trollbeads Inspiration: Midsummer Blues


IMG_0506We are well into the long and lazy days of Summer, with little herds of happy kids roaming the village, ice creams in hand… We’ve had months of dry weather, with skies that show of every shade of blue over the course of the day.  Everyone who can possibly swing it has scuttled off to their waterside spot… beach, river, pool or lake…

IMG_3283Where is your favorite place in the sun?

IMG_0504Dendritic Agate feels like beach pebbles…

IMG_0506The most common Trollbeads design request through these balmy months is to “lighten and soften” existing blue bracelets.  It’s natural… over the Summer I reach for soft, breathable linens and cottons in sun bleached tones of grey, aqua, chambray blue and white.  It’s all the colours that can be found on one of our West

IMG_0507 Coast beaches:  water, sky and sand.  For a bracelet or necklace, the same organic soft shades satisfy, and feel just right.

Today I’ve created a West Coast beach inspired bracelet using beads that are currently in stock at Tartooful.  I’ve leaned heavily on the “Rocky Beach” kit by West Coast designer, Scot Bouwens…


IMG_0505You’ll find two of his beautiful, subtle designs framing the central Dendritic Agate, and a third close to the end of the bracelet.   I added a pair of our beloved “Azure Bubbles” that add a rich, organic note.  Khaki greys are cool but earthy, and the various touches of brilliant cerulean blue evoke a Summer Sky.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Dragon Lock”, “Grey Prism”, “Beach”, “Paradise Birds”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Blue Agate”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Scarab”, “Stone Flower”, “dendritic Agate”, “Sand Beach”, “Scarab”, Milan”, “Blue Agate”, “Cliffs’, “Etruscan”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Magical Lamp”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Liquid Refreshment


IMG_6667We are in those most precious of days, here on the West Coast.  It’s the hottest time of year here and we are in a gorgeous patch of brilliantly clear, golden and warm days.  It makes us all a little giddy, as we shamelessly gorge on sunshine and vitamin d, playing outside well into the evening on our long, light, Northern Summer nights.


IMG_6672The key is, of course, to drink lots and lots of water.  So important to stay hydrated and refreshed on these hot days… so here’s a bracelet that might evoke an elegantly tall drink, beaded with cool water that slips down the outside of the glass… Or perhaps it’s a deep, round pool of softly green river water, nestled in a shady bend of the forest…


..Or Perhaps it’s something as miniature as a discovered mist of dewdrops on a lush moss in the early morning garden… No matter, whatever inspired it, this bracelet is liquid refreshment on a hot day.


All Beads in stock at Tartooful.  Clockwise from clasp:  “Water Clasp”, “Green Prism”, “Lucky Knot”, “Unique”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Moonlight Bubbles”, “Soft Heart”, “Smoky Quartz”, “trefoil Knot”, “Turquoise Prism”, “Lake Eye”, “Grey Prism”, “Transformation”, “Amethyst”, “Three in One”, “Moonlight Bubbles”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Unique”, “Water”, “Green Prism”.



Trollbeads Inspiration: A Breath of Summer…


IMG_6115Recently here on the West Coast we’ve been treated to the first breath of real Summer… with warm days, and balmy, breezy nights that are just right for resting.  The clear blue sky promises sunny days forever…but of course we know from long experience that we will still see a good dousing of rain before Summer can be relied

IMG_6125upon.  Meanwhile we are all a bit giddy to see bright light after our long dark winter!  I don’t think I am the only one who rushed straight to the beach with the kids… there is nothing that says Summer quite like an afternoon spent poking about at the edge of the water.


IMG_6121I loved watching as the kids crouched over with rapt concentration on their faces… as they tipped up stones on the rocky beach, checking for the scuttling baby crabs beneath.  They’d cry out in delight as a little orange herd of them would emerge.


IMG_6116Often they’d jog over to me, to show off one that was unusually pale, or perhaps had a sprinkling of charming freckles.  Meanwhile I happily comb through the pebbles at the water’s edge, marveling at the beauty of each wet stone.  Truly, is there anything more beautiful than perfectly turned beach stones?


IMG_6128Of course, this all sounds so peaceful… but perhaps I should mention the border collie who keeps it all just a little zany?  She wonders what I am looking for among the rocks and helpfully digs a big hole for me… and then gallops over to check on the children, thinking perhaps she can help out there instead!  Border collies love to help.


Ah… Summer… welcome back!




Trollbeads Inspiration: Candy Bracelet


This Trollbeads bracelet design is a dose of simple sweetness!

candy2When the colours are this bright and bold, one doesn’t need a full bracelet to make a clear statement.  With stripes and dots, flowers and ribbons…not to mention turquoise, orange, coral, pink and raspberry… this composition is playful and fresh, just the way it is.  I wouldn’t add a thing!





Trollbeads Inspiration: Perfume of Summer


We’ve officially entered the “Hazy Lazy” days of Summer, with brilliant, hot days that slide into long, warm cedar-scented evenings.


IMG_1858It’s a smell that takes me directly onto a forest trail on a stifling Summer afternoon… that pungent, sweet aroma of cedar boughs simmering in the sun and being crushed underfoot as one walks.  Breathing in that perfume in the cathedral stillness of the green light of the forest is the quintessential West Coast experience.

IMG_1859In other climates there are other bouquets that mark Summer… I have dimly remembered scent memories of hot pine needles and salt water on the blindingly turquoise South coast of Turkey.  I’ve had a memorable moment in New Orleans, when the thunderstorm broke into torrential rainfall onto the hot streets, creating a

IMG_1860perfume unique to Summer in the city… a friend calls it “Eau de Asphalto”.  Then there are the flowers that mark the stages of the season… I swoon for the intoxicating smell of Summer blooming jasmine or nicotiana at night… love to crush hot lavender or rosemary leaves in my hand… and then there’s the divine heliotrope.


What are the perfumes of Summer for you?


Clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Planet, small”, “Pink desert”, “Universal Unique”, “Golden Cave”, “Butterflies”, “Green Rhyolite”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Canadian Jade”, “Bouquet of Flowers”, “Unique”, “Universal Unique”, “Unique”, “Harmony”, “Unique”, “Unique”…

IMG_1857PS it was such fun to be able to play with all the new beads on the display today to build this display bracelet!  For the past month all the beads shown have been from my personal collection, but today’s post’s beads are all available!


Trollbeads Inspiration: The Beachglass Bracelet


IMG_0347Have you ever combed a pebble seashore for beach glass?  Those softly beautiful little gems, frosted by years spent among the waves and the rocks, are always a tiny shock as one scans the pebbles.  Mostly we seem to find little green ones, sometimes a white, or an amber brown one.  For a few years following the Tynant water craze I found cobalt blue ones, but they seem to have disappeared now.  However, the most precious and rare ones on our beaches are a gorgeous azure blue.  I’ve never received better gifts than handfuls of painstakingly gathered beach glass… smooth, warm and slightly damp from a child’s eager little hand.

IMG_0348Like those little glass gems, this bracelet started out as quite another thing, but has evolved beautifully into this seashore inspired design.  Originally this bracelet incorporated various pastel designs, and while lovely it wasn’t sitting quite right with its’ owner, local Trollbeads collector KT.

IMG_0349We took some time to play with various palette options, and finally settled on this gentle combination of subtle greens, ivory, and a touch of azure.  One of KT’s signature design elements is to always have a touch of an unexpected colour, to prevent a bracelet design from being too predictable.  In this case she has added two touches of lilac towards the clasp, which gives the design a little extra interest.


This bracelet makes wonderful use of some of KT’s rare and desirable beads, that she blends artfully with production design items.  For example, in the photo above she has combined the production “Inner Glow”, “Urchin”, “Fireflies” and “Green Prism” with the uber luxe unique alabaster amber and one of the recently released Cream Galaxy or Meteor beads.

IMG_0344Clockwise from clasp:  “Small Flower Clasp, “Green Prism”, “Fireflies”, “Unique Cream Galaxy”, “Unique Alabaster Amber”, “Silver Urchin”, “Inner Glow”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Unique Ivory Chess”, “Starfish”, “Blue Desert”, “Unique Bubble”, “Ivory Unique”, “Jellyfish”, “Unique Ivory dot”, “Organic Bubble”, “Inner Glow”, “Frogs”, “Chai Bud” (retired), “Wildcat” (retired), “Green Dot” (retired), “Turquoise Prism”.

Thank you, KT for allowing us to photograph and share this inspiring design…



Trollbeads Inspiration: Sunlight Ribbon

This time of year, there’s a magical time of night when the sunset is reflected back by the glass towers across the harbour… it creates the illusion of a double sunset, with pink and golden light all around that softens the cold water to a warm chambray blue.  The ribbon of light stretches under the delicate span of the Lions Gate Bridge all the way to Ambleside.  This phenomenon only happens for a short time, before the sun shifts in the sky again and it’s gone until next Summer…

(Quick, better design a bracelet!)

This bracelet is lighter than the colours captured in the photograph… but it *feels* right to me.  The bubble of joy that the moment creates needed a light filled, homage to summer – and this shimmering composition is the result.

Of course, the key element is the ribbon of golden light, which is beautifully represented by “Light Blue Gold’.  This group two bead has a soft blue base with a rich band of gold leaf suspended in crystal clear glass… I love Trollbeads’ description:

“In the sunlit pastel blue ocean, stretches a river of the purest gold, as if Neptune had swam by.”


I couldn’t resist adding this spectacular bead… “Happy Universe” is one of my favorite gold and silver beads.  Designed by Soren Nielsen, it shows classic Trollbeads attention to detail, with wonderful character written on the faces of the sun and moon, and even joyful little stars scattered around the perimeter.  That would be reason enough to include this bead… but the description is the clincher:

“We live in an incredible place, and the Sun, the Moon and all the stars on this bead smile on us. Wear your own smile along with this bead to add even more joy.”

I reached for sparkling, summer-blue glass such as “Light Blue Stripe”, as well as suitably themed silvers to complete the bracelet.  Here you see the “Mermaid”, but I also added “Pisces”, which is simply a wonderful fish design, much too lovely to be considered only a zodiac.

I picked “Love Spoons” from the UK World Tour Collection for the knotwork patterning on its verso… It reminds me of the swirling waters at the mouth of the Capilano river, where the freshwater meets the salt.  I added the “Diamond Bead, White” to echo the sparkling tips of the waves as they catch the last rays of sun.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Lock”, “Pisces”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac 2012”, “Unique”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “Love Spoons” (UK World Tour), “Light Blue Gold”, “Happy Universe”, “Crown Chakra”, “Love Spoons”, “Universal Unique”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac 2012”, “Light Blue Stripe”, “Mermaid”.

See you at the beach…