Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 3


IMG_5320This bracelet was so satisfying to build…

Last year when I tackled this project I really felt the lack of both neutral whites and  honey ambers.  There were so many compositions that I would have been able to improve upon with more of these beads at my fingertips!  So over the past year I have focused a little

IMG_5319bit on boosting these elements in my jewel box.  I didn’t exactly go looking for these beads – but once a bead is in my head they seem to just “show up”… and lots of lovely creamy white and golden ambers seem to have fallen onto my bracelets over the past year…. many thanks to Tartooful’s many generous trollfairies!

IMG_5317I am all about colour, so when building an all-neutral bracelet like this one I can’t help but insert subtle shades here and there.  This is quite possibly as “all white” as I can go!  The softest celadon hints are the unexpected touch that makes a bracelet like this sing for me.  Often ambers and other warm honey toned designs are relegated to the status of complementary tones, but here they take center stage as the primary colour element… and isn’t it fun to really see a range of colour of these lovely, natural beads?


Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp”, “Unique Amber”, “Cells” (retired), “White Steel”, “Deep Bubbles”, (retired), “Petanque” (retired), “Unique Small and Beautiful”, “Unique Amber”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Jugend”, “Blue Desert”, “Ball of Yarn”, “Golden Quartz”, “Auspicious” (Hong Kong World Tour), “Unique Amber”, “Golden Cave”, “Brown Dot”, (retired) “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Mountain Crystal” (World Tour Switzerland), “Happy Fish” (retired), “Magical Lamp”, “Unique Amber”.




Trollbeads inspiration: A Bracelet for RA


r2-7Recently I was delighted to receive an inquiry from a faraway Trollie who was looking for inspiration.  She had purchased two of the limited edition green and purple armadillos, and was wondering how to effectively showcase them in a bracelet design.  Her first thought was to surround them with vibrant colour, such as the Saffron and

r2-2Masala Facet beads.  However, over the process of several draft designs, she has decided that she would prefer to frame them with jewel toned purples and rich golden amber tones.  The pair of armadillos can frame a dramatic center bead, such as an “Amethyst” or the “Diamond Bead, Black”.  Bold silvers won’t compete with the rich colour.

r2-11Golden Cave, possibly used in multiples, will give a bronze glow to the bracelet, tying in perfectly with both the amber and the purples.  RA plans to “finish” the design with a smaller purple unique, and a well matched purple prism.  I can imagine a “Ruby” taking a the starring role on the bracelet at some point, and a “Ruby Falcon” as its companion…


r2-3Creating a highly personal design for each Trollbeads collector is a fascinating process.  Colour is so subjective.  What makes one person’s heart sing may not feel right to another – so no two bracelets are alike!  In the end it’s really an evolution.  One begins with one or two beads and simply feels one’s way along… I have a feeling that RA’s bracelet is going to evolve beautifully, and am looking forward to seeing it grow!




Clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Purple Prism”, “Black Silk”, “Nomad”, “Unique”, “Amethyst”, “Amber Unique”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Unique”, “Diamond Bead, Black”, “Green and Purple Armadillo”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “Amber Unique”, “Purple Wave”, “Golden Cave”, “Flowers”, “Unique”, “Black Silk”, “Ruby Falcon”.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Green Amber Bangle

IMG_0372With so many of our collectors snapping up the gorgeous new Aurora, we are seeing an explosion of new bangle designs!

The genius of Trollbeads lies in its simplicity, and I love that the bangle takes the purest possible form, a perfectly round torque with an opening at the back where the beads may be threaded.  The beads are then held in place with the silver or gold, rubber lined stoppers that were already a useful tool in the collection.  The bangle may be worn “nude”, and it’s pure design is stunning.  The stoppers may be used for so many other purposes on bracelets and necklaces, so they are well worth the small investment.


The bangle design shown above belongs to one of our local collectors, the lovely and beloved, KT.  Over the course of the recent trunk show we enjoyed visiting with her, and her (almost) equally lovely collection.  This juicy set of beads creates a gorgeous display on a bangle.  Its brilliant tone might be too intense for many collectors as an entire bracelet composition of 15-20 beads… but as a bangle it is a simple treat that may be changed on a whim for a new design.

We noted with delight that the dramatic inclusions in the center amber beautifully reflect the emerald glass on each side… it truly appears to have flecks of rich green floating in the golden amber.

Stay tuned over the next few days for more highlights of KT’s fascinating collection…



Trollbeads Inspiration: World Tour Amber

We’re so enjoying playing with all the new beads!

Here we’ve designed a bracelet with all ambers and world tour silvers.  It’s a satisfying combination, as it showcases the intricate silver designs, and displays the wide range of colour and texture in the unique ambers… We included “Aboriginal Rock Paintings”, one of the Australia series, as well as “Drum beat” from South Africa.  I like how complementary these two silvers are; they are very similar in size, and the contrast in texture and pattern is very pleasing to the eye.

The World Tour collection includes two amber beads:  “Runes”, shown above at left, is from the Denmark series and has distinctive markings around it’s circumference.  Here we’ve placed it next to “Auspicious” from Hong Kong, and another amazing unique Amber that is so large, opaque and textured that it really feels more like stone!

The other World Tour amber is “Baltic Gold, from Lithuania.  This showstopper is a very clear, maple syrup coloured bead with large, even facets that shatter the light beautifully.  This style of amber is not found elsewhere in the regular collection, and is extremely rare among the uniques, so this is a great opportunity to pounce on a hard-to-find amber form.  Even better, for those of you who like to design bracelets with beads in sets of two – these ambers are very consistent in size and colour so it’s fairly simple to put together a matched pair.  Japan’s “Noh Mask” is even more interesting and finely detailed than it first appeared in photographs, with its two, opposing dramatic faces, and the face of the mask’s wearer peeking through at the side…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Aboriginal Rock Paintings” (Australia), “Unique Amber”, “Noh Mask” (Japan), “Baltic Gold” (Lithuania), “Viking Ship” (Denmark), “Unique Amber”, “Auspicious” (Hong Kong), “Runes” (Denmark), “Romulus & Remus” (Italy), “Unique Amber”, “Drum Beat” (South Africa), “Unique Amber”.

So many more ideas to come…


Amber: Simply Spectacular

I made up this necklace on a leather cord today… two stunning faceted ambers cradling a “frames”… so dramatic and simple, especially on the black leather.  (I was quite pleased with myself!)

I should know by now that whenever  I get that slightly smug feeling with Trollbeads that I’m due to be taken down a notch.

Just look at what the amazing MS brought into Tartooful this afternoon:

I am humbled.

Every single one of these beads is worthy of an individual photo…

The one thing that all of MS’s creations have in common is that she selects her individual beads very carefully.  That is to say, that her phenomenal designs are special, beginning right down with each and every bead.

This necklace is no exception.  Every one of these ambers is an outstanding example, either in colour, texture, sparkling inclusions, shape or size.  The range of colour displayed here is absolutely gorgeous, and the way she has graduated in size quite amazing.

I always learn something in chats with MS.  For example, she pointed out that the necklace is not as heavy as it might appear, as the amber is significantly lighter than the natural stones or glass beads.  Also, I had never considered that a full necklace would disperse the weight more evenly across the shoulders, making it more comfortable.

Today’s Trollbeads lesson for me?  There’s always something new to learn…


Trollbeads Inspiration: Glowing Gold & Amber

This bracelet feels like liquid sunshine!  It was such a pleasure to play with and photograph; it’s the perfect antidote to our dark and rainy winter.

The magic starts with the rich golden chain, peeking through between the beads… Then each unique amber bead adds another shimmer of glowing, honey gold.

Unique ambers feature all different textures, finishes and colours… and a simple bracelet like this is the perfect showcase for their beauty.  Here you see a clear,  faceted amber, with lots of sparkling inclusions to catch even more light.  The detailed silvers catch and reflect the golden tones.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Ox”, “Unique Faceted Amber”, “Happy Universe”, “Unique Amber”, “Silver Whorl”, “Unique Amber”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac Rabbit”, “Unique Amber”.


Trollbeads Update: Troll’s Treasure by MS

A few new beads have found their way onto the “Troll’s Treasure” bracelet by MS, and she was kind enough to allow us to share pictures!

Just look how gorgeous the new “Goldstone” is with the “Golden Cave”… both of them have a wonderfully warm glow.  The Trinity has the perfect complementary shade of blue, making the auburn feel even more distinct.  MS delves into the full range of jewel tones, and I particularly like the repeated use of teal green.

Looking carefully at this composition you will notice that there are very few actual glass beads in the group; most of the beads are amber, jade and semiprecious stone.  She has included a couple of references to royal treasure, including the crown dangle of her own making at the top, and of course the retired “King & Queen”, with it’s beautiful teal dot.  MS has utilized all three of the “Flower Mosaic” bead, with it’s jewel-like dichroic glass dots.  It’s interesting to see how she very ingeniously threaded the heart dangle through “Endless”, and it makes me mull what other dangles would work similarly… imagine a pearl or black spinel dangle by troll threaded through!

Like all of MS’ compositions,  the true strength of the design lies in the individual quality of each bead…she selects truly extraordinary examples of each and every one.  This “Amethyst” is outstanding in both its colour & clarity.

Thank you, MS for allowing us to share this update with our readers….


Trollbeads Project: Pomegranates & Copper part 2

My trollbeads project has been on my mind, and when I was sorting out the new beads this week I noticed a spectacular “Brown Desert” that I thought might work for my “Pomegranates & Copper” palette…

It has lots of copper sparkle, and some very interesting ruby red tones mixed in with the chestnut.  It’s a perfect companion to the “Golden Cave”, “Fur Dot” and “Silver bead with Garnets”.

The large ebony bead has raised lots of questions over the past few days… it’s wonderful isn’t it?  It was hand made for me by Tartooful’s own, the lovely Geneva.  She is a talented jewelry artist, and now that she has graduated she has started her own little atelier, Peony & Peridot.  You’ll find some of her fresh designs on the shelves of Tartooful right now. (I’ll do a whole thing on it another day and show you – they’re so pretty!)  Sadly, the ebony beads were an extremely limited edition, as they were very time consuming and difficult to craft.

There were a few other beads on the tray that I was very tempted by… a “Wildcat” that would work, a gorgeous little “Black Silk” and a whole kit of ambers:

These beauties are full of sparkly inclusions that really dance in the light… they’re still singing to me…

also, I am squinting at the “Dichroic Ice” and thinking it just doesn’t fit in… what do you think?


New in store: Trollbeads Amber Uniques

Yesterday a new shipment of Trollbeads arrived at the shop:  we filled the display to overflowing with all our favorite designs, plus lots of new faces, including a stunning amber ooak kit!

These kits are made up of amber beads in a wide range of colours, shapes textures and cuts.  No two are alike, and when we order we never know what is going to arrive.

One of our new beads is quite petite and bears a runic inscription similar to the limited edition Denmark world tour bead…. another is like a generously oversized “Honeydew” amber, clear as liquid honey with the occasional little fleck of texture… another is satisfyingly round and almost white alabaster… There is one that feels like beeswax, also quite generous in size… another is a warm, buttery alabaster, and the last is a stunner of a lovely, big butterscotch amber, smooth and clear with lots of interesting inclusions that catch the light beautifully.

Come visit us in the village quick!  These lovelies won’t last…


Trollbeads News Roundup

Lots of news this week in the Trollbeads Universe – they recently announced the winner of the Peoples’ Bead 2011 contest, and today introduced us to their new World Tour collection celebrating the Baltic states.

The announcement about the Peoples’ bead reads:

“We are very proud to announce the winner of Peoples Bead 2011. Maybe not too surprisingly, the fans and collectors voted for ‘Rolling Waves’. 
Denise Tong is our new Trollbeads designer, sharing with us the symbolic image of Rolling Waves.  Not only is the bead graphically beautiful – but it also has an empathic, symbolic message of the strength and unpredictability of our nature.  
Denise Tong is trained as a Chemical Engineer, and also has a degree in Fine Arts – the analytical mind vs. the emotional mind. What seems like a contradiction has given her the ability to see things in different perspectives.  “Inspirations come from everything and everywhere… one just has to be attentive to her surroundings and feelings.  Once an idea is formed, senses are activated, feelings are evoked, the light at the end becomes visible, then it all comes down to mapping a path to the light and trying out different means to make it happen, back track if it doesn’t feel right.  The winning bead is inspired by the tsunami that swept the east coast of Japan and left devastating damages on 11 March 2011″, Denise Tong says.”

We look forward to offering “Rolling Waves” at Tartooful when the Autumn 2011 release happens late this summer!

The new Baltic World Tour beads are dramatic and beautiful… Any Tartooful Trollies going to that part of the world?  The faceted amber is gorgeous, and I’d LOVE to have one of these little mushrooms on my bracelet!

Trollbeads introduces us to the collection:

“We invite you on an unforgettable journey to the Baltic States!
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are called the Baltic Sisters – they have much in common yet they are very different – just as sisters can be!
This collection explores Lithuania – the Baltic Heart.
Take a walk on a beach sparkling with amber, taste the most delicious beer in the world, and cheer on the amazing basketball players’ victories.
At night, take a stroll through Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, and hear the thrilling howl of the iron wolf.”

Of course, closer to home we’re counting down the last few days until the “Little Troll” trunk show:  5 days to go!  Here’s another little teaser of the shimmering beads that are still arriving…  See you there!