Trollbeads Amber Deliciousness


This has to be the most exciting group of amber kits that Canada has ever seen from Trollbeads.  These are simply amazing!  So many delicious designs packed into each gorgeous group of beads.  How to pick?!  Each kit is priced at CAD$373 or USD$283.

Drop by to see them in person!




Trollbeads Inspiration: “More is More” Fantasy Necklace


Amethyst and amber makes such a perfect colour combination for Autumn, don’t you think?

3Today we’re playing with the classic palette of deep, lustrous garnet and a royal tone of purple.  Inspired by the exceptionally pretty stone on this Fantasy necklace, we decided to tease together a quick and simple necklace, using the elegant “Freedom Feather” silver pendant as a focal point.  This useful pendant is designed to frame the droplet at the bottom of a fantasy necklace, and gives a much more substantial and dramatic effect than the droplet alone.  It feels like an integrated part of the necklace, not an added “bead”, and could easily be worn completely on its own on a Fantasy necklace.


We could have placed the Freedom Feather silver, and left it at that beautiful and simple design.  We could have just added an amethyst bead above… or maybe just the faceted cherry amber and amethyst… but no.  We were in a “more is more” sort of a mood… so we stacked the necklace with a raft of delicious beads!  In the end, that’s the joy of the Fantasy necklace as a design tool – it only takes a few moments to create a new design, so it can be composed and redesigned however you like, as often as you like.



Trollbeads News: Collectors’ Amber Event at Tartooful!


Back by popular demand!

Trollbeads Amber Event:  17-21 September 2016

amberscurveWe’re delighted to present a very special Event for Collectors of Trollbeads Amber… kicking off this Saturday, the 17th of September, until Wednesday the 21st.  Come enjoy an extraordinary selection of these unique Baltic jewels, and be amazed and the endless variations in colour, tone, cut and texture.


To view examples of these amber beauties online during the event, be sure to check our facebook page, or ask for images in you email by contacting us at

See you there!




Uniques Event Begins!

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It’s happening again!  Trollbeads has sent us a HUGE array of unique kits to share with you.  Not only have they sent us all these yummy glass, but even added a tempting group of amber!  So quick – hustle on in to Tartooful to pick your very favorites and find all the newest and most exciting glass and amber designs…

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Not close to the gallery this weekend?  No worries, you can find all the kits displayed on our facebook page, for convenient, pajama clad shopping.  Just comment on the kit that interests you and let us know… even if you only want some of the beads in a given kit, be sure to hit it up with a comment so that if there are other ladies who would like to split, we can help to figure it all out.

uniques-event-dragonfly - 12Have fun browsing!


Trollbeads Challenge Day 4


IMG_1724Today I wanted to lighten up, and play with some of the ivory toned beads that are usually locked into my black, gold and ivory bracelet.  That neutral bracelet is an essential wardrobe item for me, and a piece of jewelry that I wear several times each week… It’s unlikely that it won’t be rebuilt after the challenge, but until then… I can take these little ivory lovelies out for a spin and see what they can do!

I decided to pair these creamy glass, stone and ambers with warm purples to see if that combination felt “wearable”.


IMG_1727I usually pair most of these purple beads with Azure Bubbles and mossy Labradorite for a muted and understated approach to purple.  I’m not really a “purple person”… but despite that, somehow seem to have acquired a good sized group of purple beads that I love.  My purple and labradorite bracelet is one of those bracelets that often comes out of my Troll bag for a visit… I’ll even leave it on my bedside table so that I can just enjoy looking at it… and then it goes away, still without having been worn.  I’m actually very content enjoying beads in this way, as beautiful objects that don’t have to be worn.


However, I am curious to see if someday I can find the key to creating a purple palette that I would actually put on and wear regularly!

IMG_1726My thought was that pairing most colours with white and ivory somehow take some of the power out of them.  The example I like to give for this is Red.  Pair Red with black, red, purple, or pink… and it brings to mind racy lingerie, red lipstick and all sorts of other fabulously sexy stuff.  This is red fingernails and red sports car sort of red.  However, pair red with white, and it evokes Valentine’s hearts with paper lace, checkered tablecloths and cheerful Christmas ornaments.  Heartfelt, but innocent.  So.  I thought that perhaps pairing purples with white would give them an even softer air.


My conclusion after wearing this bracelet for a day… I’m still not sure!  I think I’d like to rebuild it after the challenge and try wearing it for a few more days over the warm weeks of Summer to see how it settles in.  Perhaps a few more tweaks to the design would help to make it feel more at home as well… The biggest surprise is how very yellow the amber looks when contrasted with the complementary tone of purple!



Honey Honey


Like Honey for the Eyes…

IMG_0845We are just starting to really explore all the possibilities of the Autumn collection designs… and one of the most distinct new items is of course, the “Feldspar Moonstone”.  I have seen some absolutely wonderful designs online that play this warm pink moonstone off Labradorites, and pairing it with the new garnet tones makes for a marvelously rich palette.


IMG_0847However, the arrival of a little floral unique inspired this apricot and honey combination, and I am in love.  It’s a beautiful bead, with textured flowers in a warm lilac tone sprinkled across a clear, honey coloured glass base.  The light shines through the bead, and reflects out again off the silver core, making the whole thing seem to glow from within.  This unique led the way, and in no time I had played together a fresh combination of subtle lilac, warm apricot and clear golden ambers and glass.  So warm, so sweet and so natural, it’s just a pleasure to see.


I wanted the delicious colours of this bracelet to take center stage, so I intentionally kept the silvers calm and simple.  They reflect the light, and quietly shimmer along with the ambers.


A few regular collection glass play a critical role in providing a complementary, warm lilac note.  This “Purple Flower Mosaic” has two pink dichroic glass accents, as well as one golden one.  It’s a perfect choice for this bracelet.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Rosa Pearl”, “Unique Amber”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Starry Night”, “Luminous Facet”, “Power of Hope”, “Amber Violets”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Unique Amber”, “Feldspar Moonstone”, “Unique Amber”, “Soft Heart”, “Unique Glass”, “Power of Hope”, “Golden Quartz”, “Endless”, Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Pink Prism”.



Inspired Amber


IMG_8043It was a cold and rainy day today, and the village was quiet, with only a few damp shoppers scurrying from car to shop door, bags in hand.  It gave me a chance to play with a project that had been simmering in the back of my mind for a while.  I’ve been thinking of a necklace that is inspired by the warmth of amber, but with some beautiful glass mixed in too,

IMG_8042for a little pattern… a pop of crisp white and the occasional truly beautiful silver to break the beads into manageable groups.

I began by reaching for an array of amber with lots of variation in colour, size and clarity.  Everything from alabaster to ebony is on this necklace, with all the possibilities in between.


IMG_8048Next, I decided how I wanted to design the center of the necklace.  This will, of course, be the most noticeable part of the composition, so it’s important to really love this part.  I wanted a little shine and drama here, so I put an exceptionally large and lovely example of a “Gold silver trace” right in the middle.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 5.34.53 PMI framed it with a pair of natural stones – one “Red Tigers Eye” and one “Smoky Quartz”.  These faceted stones give a little sparkle, but the fact that they are not a matched pair stops the necklace from feeling too formal.  I wanted a more organic, casual mood.  I chose favorite silvers to divide the groupings of colour…


IMG_8044I wanted a necklace that was filled all the way from one clasp to another.  It feels much more modern and powerful to fill it right up, and oddly enough it doesn’t feel as heavy.  I think that when the beads rest on one’s shoulders, instead of pulling forward, the weight is more evenly distributed and easier to manage.  Of course, adding lots of amber helps to keep it light, too.

To design such a long composition I employed two rods from a play tray, and set them side by side.  Working out from the middle of the design, I built one half of the necklace on one rod, and the other half on the other rod.  It was easy to check to see if it was well balanced, simply by placing the two rods side by side.


Clockwise from clasp:  “troll tree Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Unique Amber”, “Lucky Clover”, “Unique Amber”, “Stay Positive”, “Unique Amber”, “Jugend”, “Cream Armadillo”, “Unique Amber”, “Golden Cave”, “Ocean”, “White Paper Fold”, “Unique Amber”, “Crown Chakra”, “Unique Amber”, “Paradise Birds”, “Brown Fusion”, “Unique Amber”, “Nougat Flower”, “Goldstone”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Dewdrops”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Silver Gold Trace”, “Red Tigers Eye”, “dewdrops”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Unique Glass”, “Cosy”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Rolling Troll”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Amber”, “Scirocco”, “Unique Amber”, “Angels’ Feathers”, “Golden Cave”, “Unique Amber”, “Crown Chakra”, “Transformation”, “Unique Amber”, “Heart 4 You”, “Unique Amber”, “Lucky Clover”, “Unique Amber”, “Royal”, “Unique Amber”.

What a fun project!  I am feeling inspired to try a necklace using my own collection and see what combinations I can create… Hope you are feeling inspired too!




Trollbeads Inspiration: Winners Circle


IMG_7007Congratulations once again to Tartooful’s very own Melanie Matthews, as her Compass themed entry made it to the 100 final designs in this year’s Peoples Bead design competition.  This Autumn she was delighted to receive

IMG_6997a token of appreciation from Trollbeads for the role she played in this year’s event:  a bracelet with one of the new “Perfect Balance” beads, as well as a coveted “Chess” lock.

IMG_6994She was kind enough to allow us to play with her new treats here in our North Vancouver shop, and to photograph them with some of Tartooful’s stock, to allow us all to see how the  “Perfect Balance” bead will fit in with some of our favorite beads.

There are so many bracelet designs that would benefit

IMG_7004from the addition of one of these beauties… I can see a turquoise, black and white palette… or hot pink with a couple of blasts of black… or deep greens, teals, greys and blacks… but in the end the bracelet that we loved the most was a classic black, white and grey composition with highlights of creamy gold.  Of course, two beads that simply had to join the bracelet were the diamond bead, black and the diamond bead, white….


IMG_7001Those two indispensable beads were joined by a deep, beetle-y “Blue Tigers Eye’, which I often favour over the “Black Onyx” as I find the slate shimmer just fascinating.  Other touches of grey came from a sparkling “Blue Desert”, grey prism and a “Snowflake Obsidian”.  I love the concrete feel of obsidian, it adds an urban,

IMG_7002almost gritty note.  Highlights of various shades of gold come from a “Scirocco”, “Silver Trace, Gold” and a lovely amber unique.  The silvers were chosen to be substantial in feel, and very clean, modern and simple.  The final touch is a sprinkling of black and white uniques that help to tie the whole thing together neatly.


Clockwise from clasp”  “Chess Lock”, “Unique”, “Scirocco”, “Unique”, “Stay Positive”, “Blue Desert”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “Unique Amber”, “Blue Tigers Eye”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “Perfect Balance”, “Love Within”, “Diamond Bead Black”, “Silver Trace, Gold”, “Snowflake Obsidian”, “White Steel”, “Nomad”, “Unique”, “Scirocco”, “Grey Prism”.


Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 13



IMG_5674Today I decided I wanted to attempt a more gender neutral bracelet design, using the black leather and a combination of coloured beads.  Generally, when designing a piece for a man I reach for simple, graphically bold silvers such

IMG_5671as “Smiling Cylinder”, “Frames”, or “Water”.  Alternatively, there are some wonderful silvers that evoke the magical side of Troll, such as “Thor’s Hammer” or “The Midgard Serpent”.  However, only rarely do I add a glass or stone bead to a man’s

IMG_5669design.  I was asked recently by a male trollfan how I would attempt this, while still keeping it satisfyingly masculine.  I’ve mulled the question for a few days and in the end created this bracelet.  I like the idea of

IMG_5672keeping the beads all within one colour family, and keeping them in a natural tone.  If I had Tartooful’s stock to play with, I probably would created something with more deep colour in the amber, and less of the bright golden tones… however, please forgive this with the fact that it is a ladies’ collection shown here, after all!

IMG_5667I left a faceted smoky quartz tassel on my “Plain Lock” as a little, feminine gesture – but this would be a simple edit for a more masculine owner.  I also took this opportunity to play with one of my X links on the leather, which in my opinion worked out beautifully!  This opens up a whole other world of truly great silvers for a man, such as the “Lovers knot”, “DNA”, and “Order in Chaos”.  The leather is perfect for the double links, holding them securely in an appropriate position and displaying them nicely against the dark cord.


“X By Trollbeads Harlequin”, Unique Ambers, “Golden Quartz”, “Tigers Eye” and a Unique Glass.



Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 4


IMG_5329Today I’m reaching back to a concept from a few years ago that I called “Icy Sunshine” at the time… these are super soft, subtle, pastels that feel like some of the first pale days of Spring, when it’s absolutely beautiful but still very cool and fresh.  It’s fun to go back and revisit a colour palette with some of the newer additions to my

IMG_5328personal collection to play with!  I was fortunate to acquire one of this season’s “it” beads – the petite, iridescent patterned bead shown above.  I spotted it in a shipment of new uniques, and had never seen anything even remotely like it.

IMG_5327At that time they hadn’t started appearing in the forums online, but as soon as I saw it I knew that it would become one of those hard-to-find unqiues.  It’s too perfect for my collection, with my favorite celadon aqua colour… and all those swirls of fascinating, subtle colour.  It was love at first sight.  The very unusual “Blue Desert”

IMG_5331was a lucky find at another Trollbeads shop, which I was delighted to find as it works so beautifully with the tiny oyster unique.  The Unique Pink Armadillo was custom made for me by Georgina Black of Trollbeads Canada at a glass making demonstration at Tartooful last Autumn… (SO much fun…)  With its generous size and

IMG_5330distinctive shade of pink, it can jump out a bit on my usual “Copper and Pomegranate” bracelet – but here it is right in sync with its neighbours and can stand out all it likes!  I chose some silvers that feature dichroic glass elements to add to the icy, iridescent feel, and then picked “Zanzibar” for its delicately floral design theme.


clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp”, “Rosa Pearl”, “Small & Beautiful Unique Glass”, “Small & Beautiful Unique Glass”, “Rose Quartz”, “Ball of Yarn”, “Light Blue Shadow” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Custom Made Unique”, “Trinity”, “Lavender Jade” (Limited Edition Chinese Series), “King & Queen” (retired), “Blue Desert”, “Unique Glass”, “Silver Mountain”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Zanzibar’, (retired), “Mountain Crystal” (World Tour Switzerland), “Chalcedony” (retired), “Limited Edition Kimono Series”.