Trollbeads Inspiration: A different light

IMG_0517Aquarium Pastel Takes on a Whole Different Look

IMG_0515In today’s bracelet I play with the same Aquarium Pastel bead that was recently featured on a coral bracelet.  However, today’s bracelet has a completely different look than that one… today my goal was to show how various contexts and  compositions can dramatically change one’s perception of a given bead design.


IMG_0514As I mentioned in the previous entry, I shied away from Aquarium pastel in the past, as I wasn’t enamoured of the idea of a chocolate and turquoise combination.  Over time that colour combination has actually grown on me, but in the meanwhile I found other ways to feature this fascinating bead.  Birds’ egg blue and coral offers one beautiful setting for this bead, but so does today’s even more subtle combination.


IMG_0513I resisted the temptation to add lots of warm, terracotta  touches to this composition. Instead I decided to keep it cool with lots of icy blue, nearly black browns, and hints of mossy green.  I selected knot work patterned silvers that are minimalist and simple in order to maintain a wonderfully calm look for this understated bracelet.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp”, “Grey Prism”, “Sandstone”, “Unique Glass”, “Three in One”, “Unique Glass”, “Silver Mountain”, “Labradorite”, “Path of Life”, “Milan”, “Traces”, “Cliffs”, “Three Siblings”, “Unique Glass”, “Aquarium Pastel”, “Limited Edition Christmas in Hawaii Glass”, “Lucky Knot”, “Grey Wolf”, “Ancient Palace”, “Unique Glass”.

Beads taken from in-stock Tartooful stock.



30 Day Challenge: Day 20


IMG_9688Today I tackled a little project that I’ve been wanting to try for a while… Ever since one of our lovely ladies mentioned a bracelet idea involving massive tribal silvers and all ivory coloured glass, I’ve been wondering if I could create something in this vein from my own collection.  I don’t currently have much in the way of tribal silver beads, but working with what I already had, I have found that between my unique alabaster ambers, glass and silver I can create a full bracelet!

IMG_9696Thank you to Melanie for the Gift of this Centerpiece Bead

IMG_9690In this bracelet design there are a few colours still peeking through in the various dot beads… but perhaps over time I will be able to find more of the ivory glass or unique alabaster ambers so that I will be able to create a full, completely cream coloured design.  In the meanwhile, I am enjoying those touches of  colour.  For silvers I tried to pick “interesting” designs that held some intrigue for the eye.  Normally I prefer silvers that are calm and flow easily past the eye… but this relatively stark design felt to me as though it needed additional detail to catch the viewer’s gaze and slow down the process of taking in the bracelet.

IMG_9693Thank you to KT for the Gift of this Treasured Bead



Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Lock” (retired format), “Unique Glass”, “Sandi” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Tupilak” (retired), “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Neither Fish Nor Bird” (retired), “Light Blue Dot” (retired), “Linited Edition Trollbeads Day 2014″, Unique Amber”, “Brown Dot” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Limited Edition Two Trolls”, “Turquoise Dot” (retired), “Bead of Fortune”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Frogs” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Cells” (retired), “Grey Armadillo” (retired).


30 Day Challenge: Day 16


IMG_9573I had to laugh when creating today’s bracelet…

In past Challenges I have struggled to work with this Bright Orange Armadillo, and have gone to great lengths to find a combination that I could wear for even just one day.

IMG_9565However, when I went to tackle this once-yearly bead and wrestle a design into place again this year, I found it unexpectedly easy.  Something has definitely shifted in my taste, because this year I seemed to have all the right beads to comfortably tease together something wearable and pretty!  It made me wonder, what has changed?


IMG_9567For me, one of the rewards of the challenge is that it has given me a much greater understanding of my own taste.  There are colours that I don’t necessarily love on their own that play key roles in my designs, because of the way they complement the tones that I really do adore.  Take, for example the caramel yellow unique in the photo at left…

IMG_9568… Or the “Chocolate Parrot” at right.  These are beads that one or two years ago would not have turned my head.  I admired them in other peoples’ collections, but didn’t yet fully understand how beautiful they would make my soft sage greens and slate blues.  Now I am happy to find one of these essential beads to help gel my palettes.


IMG_9566Another lesson learned from past Challenges is that it’s perfectly ok for me to have multiples of one bead pattern.  Intellectually I understood the value of patternmaking with multiples, but my thrifty Scottish heritage still whispered in my ear that it might be better to spend my bead bucks on a new design.  Between the addition of a few, key multiples (Azure Bubbles, Labradorite, Blue Desert…) and a handful of useful neutral and complementary beads… I am finding this year’s Challenge flows more easily than ever.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Lock” (retired format), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Kimono Series”, “Golden Cave”, “Plait” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Shortcut” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Orange Armadillo” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “Unique Glass”, “Golden Quartz”, “Artisan Labradorite”, “Tupilak” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Chocolate Parrot” (retired), “Limited Edition Kimono Series”.


A Very Tartooful Wedding


Did I forget to mention we have a very Tartooful New Year’s Eve planned?
Greg and I are getting married…


The house is abuzz with family and friends from near and far, flower arranging, champagne chilling, candle lighting, and of course we’re all putting on our party faces…




…so raise a glass for us tonight and stay tuned for photos…


Keep Calm and Actually Enjoy your Holiday Shopping

Eeep.  There, I went ahead and said it.  There’s a holiday coming, and there will be shopping involved.  I hear people talking about it as if it’s a terrible chore, and awful burden to be ripped through as quickly as possible.  When did shopping for presents get to be so hard?

I can sympathize… the mall is a soulless place, which drains the energy out of my veins too.  I avoid it like the plague, especially around the busy holidays.  However, there are still places where you can carefully pick out lovely, unique gifts… ones that are worth giving, and are a pleasure to receive.  Aren’t we lucky that so many of those places are in Edgemont Village?  Take a stroll with me through the village and you’ll see what I mean…

(image courtesy of

Trims really should be the first place on your list, to create a wonderfully festive feel in your home.  Even on a tiny budget I always find something inspiring there.  Last year a cinnamon broom was a welcome addition, greeting me with its comforting essence every time I came in the front door.

32 Books has something for everyone… and if they can’t suggest something fascinating from their extensive selection, then they’ll cheerfully custom order anything you can possibly imagine.  Be sure to stop by the comfy chair in the corner to give Jem a pat while you’re there.

Pick up a tea at David’s Tea shop while you’re walking through the village, for a relaxing and friendly change of pace.

Order a free range Turkey from one of the Village’s two butcher shops, or ask for fresh ideas of alternative meals – they’re so helpful!  For a beautiful array of appetizers browse the shelves and glass case at the Galeria.  Yes, they make a mean sandwich, but they also carry prosciutto, crudites, cheese, olives and so much more.  The Village wine shop can suggest perfect wine pairings no matter what the menu, and of course, find all the latest gourmet accessories at Call The Kettle Black.

For the fashionista on your list step into Zig Zag, a true treasure trove of amazing clothes, accessories and most of all, shoes!  They carry hard-to-find lines that will delight the chicest of sartorialists.

A village institution, no Christmas would be complete without a stop at BC Playthings.  I’ve often spotted what looked a lot like an elf, shopping their legendary penny boxes right by the till.  These bins of stocking stuffers make everyones’ Christmas jobs a little easier…

Finally, be sure to come visit us at Tartooful for an oasis of calm and friendly service in the busy Holidays… we have new goodies arriving every day from the best local artists, and all over the world, to put big smiles on the faces of all those near and dear to you.  We have fresh arrivals by local silver smith Pyrrha, sweet and quirky Pixies by Maileg, cool, modern homewares by Design House Stockholm, luscious precious stones by Shamila Jewels, fascinating vintage jewellery by the Mollard Collection, Redflag’s elegant design and of course… Trollbeads of Denmark.  At Tartooful you can expect to be pampered, enjoy your shopping, and find brilliant solutions this Holiday season.  We’ll happily wrap your gifts, and even arrange for shipping.  Relax, it’s going to be fun, we promise!

See you in the Village…



Naughty or Nice? Delicious!

This big beautiful box was waiting for me at work today… a wonderful surprise gift from the amazing N.O.!  (how exciting! Let’s open it!)

OooOooOoo … I wish I had words to describe the fragrance when I opened the box… sweet, buttery, warm, delicious, mouth teasingly YUM.

WOW.  It’s another eye-poppingly incredible display of cookie genius by NO.  She’s outdone herself once again.  The detail is phenomenal:  pearlescent icing… tiny, perfectly placed buttons, jewels and dots to create the most delicate sugar lingerie… graceful script writing, and not a crumb out of place.

Wonderfully cheeky!  She’s turned these previously innocent hearts into a box full of bosoms and,  well… “cheeks” worthy of Agent Provocateur.  N.O., one of these days Martha Stewart is going to come knocking, looking for a few tips.  Perhaps then you’ll start a saucy little baking company called “Agent Boulangère?!”

Thank you, N.O., for these tiny masterpieces.  I know how much time each of these must have taken, and the care that you put into each perfect dot of sugar.  I truly appreciate every moment of it.  I’ve spent time soaking in every detail.

My kids will show their wonder and appreciation when they agonize over which to choose, and then take that first bite – followed by huge smiles!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone – I hope you all enjoy the smiles of your loved ones today!


Trollbeads: Every Colour Has a Bead

Time for a new look at Tartooful… you’ll already have noticed that we’ve switched banners here on the blog, and when you drop by the website or the shop you’ll notice more of the same theme:  “Every Colour has a Bead”

Colour is a deeply emotional matter, with certain shades evoking strong reactions of energy, inspiration or calm.  There has been lots of psychological research done on the subject, to try to harness the power of colour for various reasons… for example, fast food chains tradionally have utilized hot shades of orange and red, to encourage appetite in their customers, but also to urge them to eat quickly and vacate the seat for the next hungry customer.  In contrast, hospitals and prisons utilize the calming shades of soft green and blue to keep their “guests” docile.

However, colour is even more complex than that:  each of us has a deeply personal relationship with colour.  Not only do we bring all of our history and personal memory associations to the table, but each of us physically experiences colour in a slightly different way.  There is no question in my mind that one of our patrons, the venerable MS, receives more information from a deep, rich blue than I can possibly ever hope to see.  The impact that colour has on her is clear to anyone present.  I, on the other hand, have my “sweet spot” tickled by subtle shades between red, pink, apricot, butter yellow and orange.  Think of a Summer sunset, or a “Singapore Sling”!

What does this have to do with Trollbeads?  Well, everything, really.  The breathtaking range of colour found in the Trollbeads glass and natural stones collections gives intense satisfaction to the most diehard colour junkie.  The huge variety of shades means that everyone will find a bead that strikes them emotionally – we’ve seen it at Tartooful over and over again.  It’s wonderful to find someone who never knew how much they felt colour until they fell in love with a bead.  Suddenly, a new designer is born, right in front of us, as they can’t resist finding the perfect complement to this gorgeous piece of glass and silver.  The best part is that after discovering a magical colour, or combination of colours… you can wear it on your arm, and experience that colour “hit” any time you need a little lift.  Joy!

So… the new design theme at Tartooful, “Every Colour Has a Bead” is a nod to all the people who really “Feel” colour… and to the gorgeous designs that they create using Trollbeads as their canvas.


Trollbeads Inspiration: This Spring is going to be hot!

We’ve started to play with the new Trollbeads Spring 2012 release on the workbench, and we’re finding so many wonderful colour combinations… Today we’re playing with a juicy palette of rich greens and hot pink.

The “Diamond Bead, Pink” is the most drop-dead gorgeous diva of a bead in the whole collection – and here it shines in the spotlight of the centre position.  The newly released “Forest Flowers” offers a perfect complementary colour.

We’re delighted to have a new silver lock in the collection – especially one that is so unabashedly pretty, and so very different in form to the other locks.  “Catching Hearts” is a statement piece in its own right, and offers so much more than pure function.

The new collection has three new tassels to adorn our bracelets – for this design we added a “Green Flower Tassel”.  It looks fascinating:  liquid-clear, luminescent and glowing in the light. The droplet of glass feels irresistibly smooth and touchable.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Catching Hearts Lock”, “Green Wave”, “organic Hearts”, “Earth”, “Green Flower Tassel”, “Flowers”, “Pink Bud (retired)”, “Carved Flowers”, “Forest Flowers”, “Cherry Blossom”, “Diamond Bead, Pink”, “Gecko”, “Green Wave”, “Forget-me-not”, “Silver Trace, Pink”, “Paradise Birds”, “Mixed Armadillo”, “Love Within”, “Forest Flowers”.


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…