Trollbeads Inspiration: Late Summer Blooms


IMG_0605The other morning when pottering in the back garden I came across this big, beautiful oriental lily in full bloom!  I had completely forgotten that I planted these bulbs… so it was a wonderful surprise.  It is a showstopping plant that has the most intoxicating fragrance, and glistens in the sunshine.  What a treat, especially in the late Summer garden, when so many other plants are now past their very best and looking just a bit tattered.


IMG_0602Of course, I couldn’t resist the urge to create a “Late Summer Blooms” inspired bracelet.  The arrival of this beautiful, retired Tibetan Series glass bead provided the starting point.  “Kyang” features a delicate shell pink base with a whimsical black and white overlay, and mandarin dots that nestle into the wave of black and white.

IMG_0604I often see this bead placed on bold black white and orange compositions… it is lovely there too – but I thought I would try it on a bracelet that brings out the lovely shade of pink on its base.

I chose a handful of delicate pink beads to accompany this venerable design… a “Rose Quartz”, “Engraved Romance” and this glittering heart unique.  All the pinks glow with a warm hue.

IMG_0608Warm pinks for the Late Summer Sun

IMG_0603There is no mistaking this pink composition for a Spring bracelet – it feels like pinks that have been toasting in the hot Summer Sun for months and are on the brink of turning for Autumn.  To gently transition these pinks to late Summer and hint at the Fall season to come, I added lots of warm espressos and hits of chocolate.


IMG_0606I love the way that the espresso uniques chat nicely with the hint of black in the centerpiece “Kyang” bead.  I didn’t want to add too much orange to this composition, but alluded to and echoed the mandarin dots in the Tibetan bead with the amber tones of the small and beautiful uniques that help to give a finishing flourish to this bracelet.


  Clockwise from clasp:  “Golden Flower Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Art Deco” (retired), “Pink Petals”, “Unique Glass”, “Desert Rose”, “Royal”, “Limited Edition Summer 2014 Flourish”, “Engraved Romance”, “Kyang” (retired), “Rose Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Etruscan” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2010”, “Summer Dot”, “Art Deco”, “Unique Glass”, “Rosa Pearl”.

All beads featured today are currently in stock at Tartooful., 604-924-0122 or drop by and pay us a visit in the village!




Trollbeads Inspiration: LD’s Unexpected & Beautiful Palettes

Orange Swirls Filmall photos courtesy of LD – thank you!

Today’s rich mine of inspiration comes courtesy of one of our lovely Tartoofulers from the USA… she sent me this amazing photo, along with a few words about how she came to collect Trollbeads:

” I started because my husband gave me a complete Pandora bracelet – I couldn’t get it on and off – broke my nails – etc.  I literally never wore it.   So I started hunting around for something else, and stumbled into Troll on-line.  I just never connected with Pandora, and don’t like it to this day….Definitely the beauty of the beads is what started me down this path.  But then I think it was the puzzle of the beads – how to create new things out of these disparate creations that might not be expected, that kept me going….”

Butterfly Glitter Garden“Butterfly Glitter Garden”

Having begun her collection in 2011, LD has since explored a few of the fabled retired beads, such as the Tibetan series, Russian Pink Amber and the Siberian Tiger.  Many more of the production beads and creative uniques that are are currently being produced by Trollbeads are now in her collection, and even a few gold designs grace her bracelets.  However, what really inspires us is her wonderful sense of colour, and the way she combines textures and unexpected palettes.

Buddha's Playground“Buddha’s Playground”

“I’m completely captivated by Troll – I love to photograph the bracelets, take them apart, start over.  Just endless fun for me.”

The above bracelet is a perfect example of a totally fresh colour combination – periwinkle and tangerine is not an intuitive palette, but here it is drop dead gorgeous and the best use of the “Royal Orange” that I’ve ever seen!

Powder Puffs“Powder Puffs”

LD doesn’t shy away from hard-to use beads, but artfully combines them with neutrals of golden yellow, ivory, vicuna and olive.  In the composition above, she creates a creamy bracelet with an edge of zesty lime…

Messenger and Crane“Messenger and Crane”

“Sometimes I take a bead I’m not wild about – and challenge myself to make something beautiful out of something that  may not start out that way to me.  The Messenger and Crane bracelet started out that way – the grey Jasper is really pretty awful – but in combination – a treasure.”

This soft, natural take on aqua is a palette that speaks to us at Tartooful, and what a beautiful example this is.  Note outstanding beads here such as the “Tourmalated Quartz”, retired “Crane” and some of the European release limited edition stones.  The dichroic glass accents in the “King and Queen” “troll with Big Feet” and “Trinity” are particularly effective in tying together the palette of various turquoises and greens.

Faerie Glen, SkyeFaerie Glen, Skye

Here is yet another example of an unexpected and lovely colour combination… with oxblood red, rich green, teal, caramel and lightest blue, it sounds unlikely – but what a successful experiment!  Here some hard-to-find beads shine, such as the “Green Lilac Armadillo”, “Noh Masks”, spectacular “Ornament Unique” and a petite “Small and Beautiful Unique”.

Jade Garden“Jade Garden”

What a fresh & delicious photo!  It’s like a snappy green apple, isn’t it?  This makes me want to go play with the new “Canadian Jades” on the display at Tartooful and experiment, combining them with clear lemony and butter yellow ambers right away…. This is such a wearable bracelet – dressed up or down, day or evening, summer or winter it would feel right with practically everything.

LD has one, last, wonderful photo for us, but you’ll just have to come back tomorrow to see it.  It’s so good, it deserves a post all to itself.  So Stay tuned…

A *huge* thank you to LD for trusting us with some of her recent acquisitions, and for sharing her lovely collection with all our readers!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Tuxedo

Today we continue to take a peek at the extraordinary collection of JR.  Her “Tuxedo” bracelet is a crisp black and white design… classic, pure and timeless.

Like all of her bracelets, it contains fascinating rare and retired beads that are a treat to see.  Pictured here is “Cappuccino”, one of the original Tibetan Series.  The series was part of the collection only for a brief time, as it was introduced in 2006 and retired in 2007.  The beauty and originality, of these beads, along with the limited numbers produced have conspired to make these highly coveted and collectible designs.

The matte finished “Donna” stands out in any composition, and the pair of them in this design make a particularly strong graphic statement.  This unusual bead is part of a series inspired by legendary fashion designers.  “Donna” honours Donna Karan.  Others in the series include beads inspired by Alexander Julian, Issey Miyake, Vienne Westwood and Doce & Gabbana.  This series was introduced in 2005 and retired in 2008.

No black and white composition would be complete without the “Diamond Beads”… since their introduction they have consistently topped the list as the most popular and top selling designs in the collection… and with good reason!  With their 13 sparkling crystals, they are a dramatic centerpiece on any bracelet.  These designs are available in both the classic black and white, as well as raspberry  and royal blue.  In addition, the black and white diamond beads are available in both classic and universal core sizes.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Fish Lock”, “Silver Stopper”, “Angles, Tip” (retired), “Brew of the Moor”, Triple Pearl, White”, “Black Gold”, “The Midgard Serpent”, “Happy Fish”, “Milan”, “Donna” (retired), “Mocha”, “Diamond Bead, white”, “Cappuccino” (retired), “Lotus, “White Bubbles”, “Donna” (retired), “Ying Yang”, “Diamond Bead, Black”, “Triple Pearl, White”, “Plait”, “Sandi” (retired), “Silver Stopper”.

What would you design if you could play with JR’s remarkable collection?  Stay tuned for a peek at bracelets that Cristi & I made up when we were given free run in JR’s jewellery box!


Trollbeads Inspiration: JL’s extraordinary collection

We were honored to hear from one of our UK fans recently, and she was kind enough to share her amazing collection with us….

Above, you’ll see her “current favorite”:  a beautiful composition of warm butterscotch and aqua.  Beginning with the retired “Mexico Lock” with its peacock blue, dichroic glass… there are so many unusual, retired and unique designs on this bracelet!  Notice all the drool worthy beads that JL has found:  retired “Mardi Gras”, The anniversary “Bead of the Viking”, very unusual retired Trollstones and even a rare “Green Lilac Armadillo” Tibet bead.  Her current series beads are just as special:  “Blue Desert” is a gorgeous swirl of rich blue and maroon, the “Golden Cave” is a delicate, pale lilac, and her “Grey Squirrel” has a rich oxblood streak.   I think that this amazing, tour-de-force, utterly delicious bracelet must be my current favorite too….

This classic, ladylike composition is fresh and crisp, with a clean, blue and white theme.  The wide range of blues play nicely together, and the strong rhythm of two, well-matched “Azure Bubbles” with two limited edition, Chinese silvers and a pair of prisms is a wonderful frame for the “Pearl Lock”.  Notice the very unusual Prism on the right of the lock – I wonder is that an ooak turquoise prism, or purple prism?

The sharp-eyed reader will see that JL likes to rearrange her bracelets, making up compositions according to the season or her mood.  She photographs arrangements that she particularly likes, so that she can remember exactly how it went… it’s a fearless approach that works well for people who love to create – as JL clearly does!

In these two photos you’ll see a dazzling array of Tibetan, limited edition stone and Armadillo beads.  She has successfully integrated such diverse designs as the retired “Orange Armadillo”, “Crazy Lace Agate”, and the limited edition “Kimono” beads – quite a feat!

I’m very fond of the 70’s “rock god” series that was retired only a couple of years ago, and I’m delighted to see that JL has created a design to showcase the whole set!  I used to make up display bracelets doing something similar, and they always felt so Scandanavian-fresh and sort of Marimekko… In this arrangement she has added a few natural stones in soft, solid colours to act as a neutral foil for the graphic punch of the glass.  I think that this bracelet would be so wearable for everyday… a jeans-and-white tee sort of a design!

Thank you to JL for letting us enjoy her beautiful designs, and thank you to David Moffitt photography whose beautiful images showcase her collection so well.