Feeling Inspired? Time for a little Design Challenge…


Ladies, dust off your bead trays… it’s time once more for a the 30 Day, Trollbeads Design Challenge!

IMG_5283Some of you may recall that around a year ago, I decided to take all my bracelets apart, and for a full month I created a new design each day using my own collection.  To my delight, a group of our Trollbeads friends from all corners of the Earth played along!


I am hoping that even more of you will join me this year, in unleashing your beads and discovering the creative potential that lies in your jewel box.  Trollbeads are so much fun to play with – let’s play!

IMG_5515Here’s how it works: 

1.  Choose which bracelets and necklaces you’re willing to take apart.  For some ladies, it might be the whole collection.  For others, some designs are sacred while others have never sat quite right and can easily be shaken up.  No pressure, do whatever you are comfortable with.

IMG_55332.  Photograph the designs you plan to disassemble.  This is a key step, as it saves confusion and heart ache later if you decide you’d really like that have that certain design all back together again.  The photo is your insurance policy that “you can always put it back”.  This is totally a no risk venture.  The photo doesn’t need to be art, just make sure you can tell what each bead is.

IMG_5523Now the really fun part.  Pull out a play tray or bowl, take a deeeeep breath, and let those beads fly free.  (don’t forget – you have photos!).  It’s a wonderful feeling!  Imagine if you wandered into your favorite Trollstore and came across all those gorgeous beads… what would you design with them now?  This is your chance to discover the

IMG_5539potential designs hiding amongst your collection.  Each day, take just a few minutes to tease together a fresh combination – necklace, bracelet, or whatever makes you happy at that moment.  Try to do something original each day, and don’t simply rebuild what you already know.  Stretch those creative muscles and take risks!

IMG_5513…Because here’s the kicker:  each day you make a bracelet, only to take it apart the next morning and start fresh again.  This frees you from designing only compositions that are easy, practical or wearable.  These are not meant to be long term commitments – these are ephemeral designs that can be fully enjoyed in an uncomplicated way, just for

IMG_5546the span of a few hours.  It’s this final element of the Challenge that really frees one to be a bit outrageous and mix colours that are far outside one’s comfort zone.

I am hoping that lots of you will want to play along with me, and share your designs with me.  Please send me photos of what you create!  Don’t just show me the victories – be sure to let me know what confounds you as well.  (Last year I really struggled to build an all-silver bracelet…).

Either send images to tartooful@gmail.com or share photos with the Tartooful family of Trollies on our facebook page.


But wait – there’s prizes!

IMG_5513Oh yes… the prizes… At the end of the month we’ll carefully comb through the facebook files and find the top few Trollies whose images have created the greatest chatter online.  So post away, and be sure to share your post with your friends online and ask them to like & share in turn.  The more chatter on your post, the more likely that we will be sending you Tartooful treats.  There will also be a prize awarded for the Trollie who offers the most support to the designers, sharing, liking and encouraging the ladies as they go through the month.

I can’t wait to get started, and I can’t WAIT to see what you will create.






Trollbeads 30 Day Design Challenge


What if you started fresh… free from preconceptions about how your bracelets should look.  What could you create with your beautiful beads?

the-canvasA dear friend and client recently showed me a photo of her substantial collection, laid out on a playtray, neatly arranged by categories such as stones, silvers, and glass… and I was astonished to realize that I had never arranged my own beads in that way.  As often as I play with other peoples’ designs and collections of bracelets, I was a little more casual about designing my own pieces and had never spent the time to take it all apart and lay it out clearly to start fresh.  When I saw all of those beads laid out on the play tray I realized how incredibly liberating and inspiring it was, and wanted to feel that with my own collection.

I often hear from design clients that they are reluctant to take apart their finished bracelets, and wonder why.  I don’t hesitate to redesign often, I simply take a snap of a favoured composition, so that if I ever want it back I can reproduce it as if I had a pattern.  Funnily enough, I’ve never gone back and done so – there always seems to be something new to try.  This challenge is the perfect time to take the plunge and look at one’s collection with a fresh eye.

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So here’s the challenge:

1.  Photograph my current bracelets, so I can always put them back exactly the way they are if I want them back.  (Check.  See above)


2.  Take everything apart and arrange it on a play tray so I can clearly see my design tools at hand.  (Check.  See above.)


day1-lavenderjade3.  Play!  Create a new bracelet every day for 30 days.  The next morning, take it apart, place all the beads back on the play tray to create again with a fresh eye.  (Don’t forget, you can always take a photo if you’d like to rebuild a certain arrangement again in the future.)

day1-detailA sense of adventure is key, here.. this is the perfect time to take risks with colour.  After all, we are using beads that we already own.  There is no cost involved, and we are only going to wear the results of each experiment for one day.  The objective is to find new opportunities and new inspiration within our collection.  Don’t over think each bracelet; try all stones, all glass, all silver, unbalanced, colourblocked, group patterns, or go for totally random combinations that simply make you happy.

day1-labradoriteI would LOVE to have as many of you as possible to take the challenge with me, and share the results of your wild Trollbeads design experiments on our Facebook page so that we can all enjoy them and be inspired.  If you don’t “do” facebook, email them to me and I would be delighted to post the photos on your behalf.

day1-roundMy 30 Day Challenge… Day 1

I never noticed how many grey & lilac natural stones I had!


Already, I feel as though I have come to know my personal collection a little better, and I’ve only just begun.  This is going to be fun… I can’t wait to start again fresh tomorrow morning as see what I discover then!  Don’t forget – I have to take it all apart, and put it back onto the tray before designing bracelet number two.

Let me know if you decide to take up the challenge too…