A Visit from St. Nicholas
By Clement Clarke Moore
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already almost the end of November, and it’s fast approaching the busiest shopping time of year! Between the gorgeous ambers that we have been lucky enough to find, the stunning Limited Editions for Christmas and Black Friday 2016, oh – and shopping for gifts for others… there are so many tempting treats at Tartooful.
Browse our online shop now, or we would be delighted to offer personal service by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 604-924-0122. Hope to see you in the Village soon!
Today, November 1st, is a cluttered black square of type in my calendar… It’s the first day of the month, with all of the financial deadlines and chores that accompany a fresh month…it’s the day after Hallow’een, so we are all just a little groggy from sugar overload and a sleep punctuated with fireworks and firecrackers. It’s also All Saints Day in the Christian calendar, or Samhain in the Celtic Pagan calendar. No matter what your cultural background, here in the Northern Hemishphere there is no questioning the shift in light that accompanies the beginning of November.
The beginning of November feels like a shift. Suddenly we expect the nights to be long, we expect the days to be cold and we look to the days of Winter ahead. I awake in surreal darkness, convincing my skeptical body that it really is time to get up… and on rainy days it sometimes feels as though it never really gets fully light. Curls of slate coloured clouds catch on the curves of our local mountains and lazily hang there waiting for a breath of wind to push them along. No wonder, then, that just now the veil feels thin between the world of the living and the world of those who have gone before.
So what are we to do? Shiver here in our dim, grey existence? Hardly! We North Westerners have perfected our strategies for warmth and light. We celebrate the contrast of light and dark in thousands of tiny ways. Some examples… You’ll find brilliantly uplit, spectacular trees in most gardens in my neighborhood. That pop of green light is even more beautiful for being embraced by darkness. we light our houses more and more as the very darkest time of year approaches, and by Christmas the entire city is aglow. Inside you’ll find candles and fireplaces are de rigueur to banish the November chill and in the very darkest months I’ll even light candles at the breakfast table!
In the same way, I seem to gravitate to warmth and light in my personal objects and jewellery… a little more warm metal: a touch of bronze, copper and gold just feel wonderful at this time of year. Amber has a natural golden glow that is irresistible, particularly when blended with warm metals and some black or grey for contrast. This leather bracelet is just the thing to have a touch of sunshine that can be carried with me through my day!
…and there’s no better excuse than a big, beautiful shipment of unique glass beads and the most exciting carved amber designs that we have ever been privileged to see.
These are some absolutely drop-dead beautiful beads, and any one of them would instantly be the jewel of most collections. We are thrilled to be able to present them to you! This alone would be cause for celebration, but add to that a menu of classic trunk-show specials, and it becomes spectacular.
Our event kicks off Oct 17th and runs until Oct 23rd, so we are looking forward to catching up with all of you in the Village! Not in our neck of the woods? No worries. We will be posting our unique beads on our Facebook page, where they may be easily browsed, even if you don’t have a Facebook account. For regular collection orders, be sure to check into our online shop, and simply let us know in a note what item you’d like for your fourth item free. We are also happy to work with you via email at email@example.com, or give us a ring at 604-924-0122 for a friendly consultation by phone.
So… dust off those wishlists, bring us your partly completed projects and get ready to be inspired!
Today 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.
Strictly speaking I can’t say that rings are a new area of interest for me. I have happily collected rings for years, from fabulous vintage auction items, to antique family heirlooms and a huge array of fun contemporary pieces found in my travels. I love to juxtapose modern designs of humble materials with pieces composed of precious metals and stones for an irreverent and fresh look. Of course I have received some rings from my husband that are very dear to me – but rings make a great gift between friends as well! I have a dear girlfriend with whom I have a longstanding tradition of exchanging affordably priced and ridiculous rings that we each find when we travel.
Recently we decided to stock up on some of the various Trollbeads rings… and we fell in love with so many of the pieces that arrived. Most of their designs stack beautifully – which is a huge advantage for a ring addict like myself. I only allow myself to wear rings on one finger on each hand, so in order to indulge in a couple of different styles they simply have to get along! All of their rings with glass accents stack to form a gorgeous cocktail “bubble” ring, that can be collected over time. The “Eye of Aphrodite” has been in the collection for some time, but the new “aurora” ring is a shimmering, subtle and softer toned newcomer that has more recently stolen our hearts.
Isn’t it pretty here with the “Baby’s Breath eternity ring? The “Strength Courage and Wisdom” ring shown at top is also a Tartooful favorite…we love the thick, generously heavy links of this knot work design, and its’ meaning makes it such a moving gift as well. Our surprise favorite of the most recent ring designs is the “Neverending” ring… this deceptively simple ring is an absolute pleasure to slip on one’s finger, as it’s gently rounded on the inside surfaces to be incredibly comfortable. It’s a brilliant little modern jewellery design.
The best part about all these underappreciated Trollbeads designs? Their prices. Most rings run around CAD$100, and many of them are much less! Hand made, Danish sterling silver, modern design for under CAD$100. Amazing.
Drop by the Village and have a play!
Casting an eye over our selection of uniques today I noticed that we have an absolutely marvelous collection of raspberry pinks in stock at the moment. I decided to have a bit of a play with them, but thought I’d give the design a little twist and try my hand at a crimson-to-pale pink ombre composition….
This collection of beads are wonderful, rich shades of soft blush pink through raspberry and down into a deep, satisfying crimson. Add an absolutely dazzling array of pattern and texture, and no matter how this composition came
together it was bound to be a fantastic bracelet. I really think that with these beads it would be impossible to make the bracelet look anything but gorgeous.
The most essential tool when designing this sort of bracelet is definitely a play tray… I string the beads onto the rod to find just the right placement for each bead. Often I’ll think I know just where a bead “belongs” in the ombre gradation – and then when I slot it in, it becomes apparent that it really looks better a little to the right or left.
At the two extreme ends of this bracelet design you’ll find some of the opaque unique beads that are such a delight to true collectors. The rich red and glittery one shown above has actually been tempting me for my own collection! So luxe and utterly delicious. At the other end of the bracelet be sure to note the beads that have elegantly formed flowers traced on milk glass backgrounds. These have been such a lovely fresh addition to the design oeuvre of glass Trollbeads uniques. I’d love to see an entire bracelet made up of these delicate beauties.
I knew that I wouldn’t allow many silvers to find their way onto this bracelet design…. partly because the fun of an ombre is to see how the colours relate to each other, gently transitioning from one shade to the next. It was also in large part because there were simply too many gorgeous beads that I wished to include in the composition! However, the overall effect is much more effective with a little silver to break up the colour blocks and allow the eye a spot to pause and rest. In the end I selected a few highly ornate silvers that were up to the task of matching the drama of their glass companions.
Both the silver and the glass elements in this composition are like a confection for the eye…
Clockwise from clasp: “Lace Lock”, All Glass beads uniques. Silvers: “Spiritual Ornament”, “Elderflowers”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Wine Harvest”.
The time of year when we all dust off our best pumpkin, citrus and cinnamon coloured beads and create combinations to honour Thanksgiving, Fall Equinox, Back to School, Harvest Moon, Halloween and the warm low light of Autumn. Every season has its colour mood, and no question that no matter how you like to celebrate Autumn, with subtle earthy browns or stark ghostly black and white – orange is the queen of the Fall palette.
The arrival of a group of spectacular yellow glitter uniques, as well as a punchy new olive glass colour had me eagerly anticipating this annual ritual even more than usual. Olive has traditionally been a bit of a tricky colour to find in the Trollbeads collection… there have been a few beads with cool, blue-olives, but very few with a true, acid soaked sort of an olive green. I was delighted when we received a few precious uniques with this very fresh colour and immediately resolved to combine them with rich golden yellows and tangy oranges for a fantastic, citrus take on Autumnal orange.
A bracelet with this much texture, rich colour and visual energy needs a few places designed for the weary eye to rest, so I showed restraint, and kept silvers minimal and calm. The silvers in this combination create colour groupings that are meant to be viewed as a whole… then suggest a pause to the eye before moving on to the next group. For that reason I selected simple, abstract silvers of a similar size and shape that would quietly fulfill their role and not demand too much of one’s attention when viewing the bracelet.
Clockwise from clasp: “Troll tree lock”, “Green Prism”, “Summer Ltd Edition”, “River of Life Facet”, “Glass Unique”, “Nomad”, “Glass Unique”, “Glass Unique”, “Glass Unique”, “Soul Artichoke”, “Glass Unique”, “Masala Facet”, “Glass Unique”, “Moroccan Cushion”, Glass Unique”, “Glass Unique”, “Glass Unique”, “Etruscan” (retired), “Glass Unique”, “Glass Unique”, “Luminous Facet”, “Glass Unique”.
All beads shown currently in stock at Tartooful.
Have you begun to transition your Summer bracelets for the new season? Even if you’re the sort of terribly organized and decisive person who creates forever bracelet designs, there’s always room for a seasonal “tweak”….
In some cases, to “winterize’ a pink bracelet design I’ve played with chocolate browns, rich cinnamon tones or greys. They’re all great solutions, depending on what sort of pink you have to begin with. In today’s project I’ve utilized some of the beautiful new designs from the Autumn Trollbeads collection. They’re a subtle blend of hues, with soft buff tones, glittering copper and hints of pink, purple and blue.
They demand similarly subtle companions, and are the perfect way to create a soft pink bracelet that transitions gracefully from late Summer to Autumn. Try layering this type of bracelet with an all amber bracelet, or a copper bangle to give it even more of an Autumnal feel.
When creating this design, I began with Fragile Purity, as I liked the way it set the palette of soft pink, with just a touch of light mossy green. That unabashedly pretty bead is framed by two of the new collection additions, “Soul of Sunshine” and “Nature Unity”, which right away take the edge off the “pretty pink” and make the design so much more subtle and interesting! Note the way that the pink brings out all the hints of pink, green and blue that are hiding in these fascinating beads…
This Rainbow Bridge just begged to be a part of this design. It possesses the perfect blend of green, apricot, plum and even hints at blue around the edges.
Clockwise from clasp: “Carolina Jessamine Clasp”, “Unique Glass”, “Freedom Feather”, “Desert Rose”, “Nature Unity”, “Pink Conch”, “Ornamental Flower”, “Unique Glass”, “Soul of Sunshine”, “Fragile Purity”, “Nature Unity”, “Unique Glass”, “Wisdom Weed”, “Rainbow Bridge”, “Blossom Shade”, “Soul of Sunshine”, “Royal”, “Unique Glass”, “Rosa Pearl”.
How do you transition your bracelets through the seasons?