Trollbeads Inspiration: January Blues


Have you ever seen that movie scene from “The Jerk“, starring Steve Martin?  The one where he has a meltdown, and on his way out the door he “only needs” a long list of things?


jerk5Sometimes when I look critically at my own Trollbeads collection I feel a little bit like that… First, I think I could give up everything except my “Silver Mountain”.  However, then I realize I couldn’t possibly give up the natural stones… And the “Deserts”, blue, brown and pink… then the various colours of “Azure Bubbles”…

jerk3Isn’t it  wonderful that Trollbeads continues to create such gorgeous little treasures that they become such a part of our lives?

For today’s bracelet I dive back into my own dear collection, to play just a little bit with an idea that I’ve been brewing for some time….

jerk4“I only need this Azure… and this Amber…”

jerk7Ever since I acquired my third (!) Azure Bubbles I’ve been thinking that I really ought to try blending just my very favorite designs and see what that looks like.  Deserts and Azures and Labradorites, oh my!  I love my job.

jerk2I call it “January Blues”

I played together this composition and discovered that these beads create a palette of softest grey blue with lots of warmth from amber and golden sparkles.  This is the perfect bracelet for a cold and dull January day like today… the blues are gentle and a welcome respite after the colour excess of the holidays… and the sparkle and amber glow stops it from feeling cold.


The big bad beauty of a sparkly bead at the heart of the bracelet is an artisan piece by West Coast Trollbeads designer, Scot Bouwens.   You’ll recall that he is the designer of the subtle and beautiful Rocky Beach kit that was released as part of the Spring Trollbeads collection last year.

Now I’m just going to take my beads and go…





Inspired by the glittery photos flying around the interwebs of the upcoming Trollbeads collections… I am remembering how very much I love all my “Desert” beads… Pink desert, Blue Desert and retired “Brown Desert” are among my very favorite designs in the collection.  If early rumours are true, then I am bound to love this Spring’s Trollbeads series!


Trollbeads Road Trip: A Beautiful Day….


It’s a special time of year in LaConnor, Washington…. the Tulips are in bloom!

tulip-close3The village of LaConnor is a century-old riverside town, filled with charming vintage homes, pretty cottage gardens, quaint shops and fascinating museums.  At times, it’s tricky to tell the museums from the shops, as there are an abundance of quirkily wonderful antique shops, bursting with all the vintage treasures that we remember from our grandparents’ attics.  Each Spring this sleepy town comes to life with the Tulip Festival, when the fields become broad bands of colour.

kidsOn Sunday we took a family day trip across the border to go experience this amazing sight.  We were fortunate to have cool, clear sunshine for our day, and we were able to walk the fields, surrounded by millions of nodding blossoms.  It’s like stepping into a painting.

tulip-close1You first see the fields in the distance, like a ribbon of crimson across the brilliant green of the farmland.  Unlike similar tulip fields in the Netherlands, LaConnor has the dramatic backdrop of the Coastal Mountains, giving the experience a distinctly West Coast twist.

flowers&mountainsOf course there are cut tulips and bulbs for sale, but there’s so much more than that.  Well organized farms present hayrides, historical displays, gift shops, art shows and childrens’ activities to keep Mom, Dad and all the children happily occupied.


However, at the heart of it is the simple, yet dizzyingly beautiful experience of simply being at the edge of a field of flowers in full bloom.

sb-beads2Ah, but what about the Trollbeads, you ask?  Well, you may recall that new Trollbeads designer Scott Bouwens of Bearfoot Art Glass has his studio in LaConnor… We took advantage of the day trip to stop in and see what is new in his studio.

IMG_0012I hadn’t been before, so it was such fun to see his cozy space, filled with shimmering glass treasures.  Even the rainbow of colour on his supplies shelf is a treat for the senses.  All the glass elements are made by hand in the studio workshop, and Monica Bouwens creates ready to wear jewellery out of Scott’s glass jewels.

sb-jellyfishThere are small and large core glass beads, glass creatures such as dragons, caterpillars, jellyfish and “friendlies” – odd little creatures that may or may not be actually friendly.  In addition there are necklaces, cufflinks, bracelets, and sets of beads for one’s own creations.  A tree drips with lampwork glass earrings in shades of blue, lavender and green.  For the glass artists among us, Bearfoot provides supplies and a line of exceptional tools to enhance one’s own work.

sb-glitterI couldn’t leave without picking a few lovely beads for myself in Scott’s distinctive, West Coast style.  One can see at a glance why Bearfoot’s work caught the eye of Trollbeads.  The complex, detailed style that is seen in the Rocky Beach kit from

sb-beadsSpring 2013’s Collection is evident in much of the work in this little studio.  I stood and agonized over the choices before me… I now feel full sympathy for the difficulty in choosing “just a few” lovelies to take home.  (Well, maybe more than just a few…)


daffodilsI came home with my head filled with stunning mental snapshots, and plans laid to bring more of Bearfoot Glass to Tartooful.  We already love the Rocky Beach kit, and soon we will be able to treat ourselves to some of the Bouwens’ glass earrings as well.

Cathy&kidsIt was an inspiring day… wonderful to have that time with family, and to be able to share in a beautiful experience.