Trollbeads News: Animale Fantastico August 14th, 2015!


fantasy-frog-pendantWe are pleased to announce that the the Trollbeads Animale Fantastico Collection will launch August 14th, 2015!

This new collection offers an exciting assortment of new Fantasy Necklaces and Pendants.  The Animale Fantastico series includes new pendants in themes of animals: frog, cat, fish, elephant and mouse.  Collectors may choose to wear the pendants as they are, or they can be mixed and matched for something entirely new – like a “Frouse”, or maybe a “Frelephant”.


In addition, two new Fantasy Necklaces are being introduced, one featuring a beautiful and very coveted Amethyst stone, and the other with a stunning Malachite stone. Both Fantasy Necklaces are going to be part of the permanent collection and available in seven lengths.


Do visit our online shop to view the entire, gorgeous collection… we are now accepting pre orders there, as well as in shop, via email – – or over the phone:  604-924-0122.


30 Day Challenge: Day 7


Today I was in a light sort of a mood… wanting something natural, simple and clean.  A fantasy necklace with a few spring greens was just the thing.

IMG_9459I picked this lovely sage green and gold stripe from my palette first and decided to work from there.  I added some golden ambers to play up the glitter, but added the buttery amber as well, so that it didn’t feel too terribly formal.  The clear golden yellow glass with stylized green flower is one of my favorite beads… it is absolutely at home here among other greens and golds.


The translucent Chinese Jade lays a nice wide foundation for this composisition – I like my fantasy necklaces to be stacked in a pyramid shape!  The sage and white scallops help to bring in just a touch of white, so that the necklace’s pearl drop feels like it’s part of the overall design.


From top to bottom:  “Unique Amber”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Chinese Jade”.  Design composed on a 90cm sterling silver Fantasy Necklace with Pearl.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Navy is the New Navy


new-navy3Does Navy ever really go out of style?  There cannot be any other colour that is perennially trotted out as being the fresh, new “it” colour soloution the way navy always seems to be.  You’ll find it paired with classic black right now…

new-navy-waveIn crisp nautical stripes of navy and white, or bone for Summer… and look for it with complementary tones of vicuna, chestnut or 80’s redux mustard for Autumn.  When the holidays hit, the most sophisticated sheaths this year were just one note

new-navy1off-black towards navy.  It’s really nothing new, it was a standard in my Mother’s classic wardrobe, and in my chic Grandmother’s before that.  It ought to be such a “buttoned down” colour – think navy business suits, militaria and school uniforms… isn’t it amazing that it somehow avoids being pidgeonholed as such and feels fresh each season?

new-navyStill Fresh.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Amythest Dream Necklace


We are huge fans of Trollbeads’ classic, “Fantasy” necklace series… with black Onyx or cultured pearl drops these necklaces are go to items for all of us at Tartooful, and a part of our daily wardrobe, whether we are at the gallery, our on the town, or simply hanging out with the kids and dogs!

Today we take a very quick peek at a rare item that was recently acquired by one of our dear clients… this Amethyst Fantasy Necklace is very special, very hard to find and very beautiful.  I spotted one at Tivoli when I was in Copenhagen last year, and was sorely tempted to add it to my own personal collection… I’m delighted that I will be able to “visit” with this one and play with it form time to time!


The Amythest drop is faceted, clear and very rich.  It’s quite round, a little different from a standard briolette, so it stands out as a stone that has been cut just for Trollbeads.  Here our client has created a vibrant combination that we think not only showcases the rich jewel tone of the amethyst, but also reflects her playful and witty personality.

Enjoy, AV, it’s beautiful!


Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 18


We’ve had some folks asking for some design ideas for Fantasy necklaces, so I thought today I’d share my approach of using similar designs for either bracelets or necklaces.

IMG_1555I tend to fall in love with a colour combination or blend of patterns and want to wear it all different ways for a bit.  I’ll make up a bracelet with it, and when I want a change without giving up the composition I’ll transfer the design over to a fantasy necklace, leather bracelet or choker.

In this case, I loved the combination of icy blue and warm ivory with touches of gold.  I made up the necklace first, playing the ivory off the white pearl.

IMG_1536It was so easy to expand on the concept, switch a few things here and there and create a bracelet design from the same palette.  My bicone golden amber adds another warm touch , and I am able to use both my blue dot and green dot…

IMG_1533For me the main difference between designing for the various chains is simply how to arrange the different sizes of beads.  For example, on the bracelet I tend to place the largest ones in the

IMG_1535middle, and then taper towards the ends.  I try to balance the colours evenly across the circle of the bracelet, so that it doesn’t appear heavier on one side than the other.  When I come to the last bead on each side I like to have them play particularly well together, so that when one looks at the lock it appears harmonious.

IMG_1534However, when designing a Fantasy necklace I think in terms of stacking the beads in a pile on the chain… so I like the widest and thickest bead to sit at the bottom to give it a stable and pleasing look.  (The large barrel shaped silvers are so great in that position).  Then I taper the beads as one goes up the chain with the smallest at the top.

IMG_1554If one plans to double the chain using our modified lariat approach, then the last couple of beads should be stacked on in reverse order, so that when they are slid around to the other side of the necklace the smallest bead still ends up on the top.


On a daily basis I’m most likely to leave my fantasy necklace made up with a pretty neutral composition with ivory, gold and grey.  I do wear my necklace almost every single day – with everything from jeans & worn in boots to black velvet and heels.  On those days when I feel like a change, it only takes a few moments to toss something pretty together.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Fun with Ombre


DSCN5301Just look at what Cristi wore into Tartooful today!  She was inspired by the idea of an “Ombre” necklace, that looked like it had been dipped in indigo blue… and in only a few minutes of play before work today she created this yummy combination.

DSCN5307It’s amazing to think that only a year ago, Cristi’s collection was neatly arranged onto specific bracelets.  Each one of her bracelets  – purple & gold, and pale blue – was perfectly composed, and had stayed pretty much the same for several years.  I had tried to tempt her to start a new bracelet design on several occasions, but she never took the bait.

DSCN5306…Then Tartooful gave Cristi and I each a Fantasy necklace with pearl last Christmas… and it was like a creative dam was broken!  All the gorgeous uniques that she previously might have just had drooled over started to creep onto her necklace.  (We began to joke that it was really more like a necktie…) Finally, the bracelets were carefully


photographed and disassembled, to join the pool of beads for new creations.  Now one never knows how Cristi’s necklace will look on a given day.  Long or short, neutral or punchy, necktie or demure pendant… they’re all such fun.

DSCN5300The key thing here really is fun.  Trollbeads are supposed to be a creative outlet, and ultimately, fun.  Cristi always encouraged others to play, but hadn’t taken the leap herself in some time.  Now that she’s freed her collection she’s found a whole new appreciation for the beauty of her own beads, and is really enjoying her Troll.

Stay tuned for how to create this gorgeous “Blue Ombre” look for yourself…




Trollbeads Inspiration: Cristi’s collection Re-Imagined

Autumn Inspiration has officially struck Tartooful, and even Cristi has succumbed.  Cristi has stoically kept the same arrangements on her bracelets for years… but the acquisition last Christmas of a Fantasy necklace was the first strike towards change, after which more than a few new beads were added to the collection, and now that the new Autumn 2012 Series has arrived, her old designs have finally been swept away by completely fresh arrangements.  So grab a coffee, pull up a chair… Are you ready?  This is going to take a little while!

Her necklace is magnificent… super long and so rich with a tapestry of colours and textures.  It displays an enviable collection of uniques, retireds, and lots of unusual expressions of old favorites.

The golden tones of her old purple and gold composition help to bring rhythm and cohesion to the new design.  In addition, the abundance of translucent bead designs give a brilliant, jewel box feel to the necklace.

Cristi’s pale blues have been reincarnated as a much more subtle and moody composition with the addition of earthy notes such as “Labradorite”, “Milan” and “Organic Bubble”.  “Midnight Flowers” and an Artisan Bead introduce deep indigo.

It’s really the “Milan” in this design that brings it all together… at first glance this bead appears to be simply black and sand in colour, but close inspection reveals grey, vanilla, rust and a remarkable, brilliant blue.  When placed in a composition near to blue, this bead shows off it’s colours in a most surprising and delightful way.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp” (retired), “Artisan Bead”, “Hydrangea”, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Neither Fish Nor Bird” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Mermaid”, “Light Blue Gold”, “Summer Jewel, Small”, “Midnight Flowers”, “Art Deco”, “Milan”, “Mocha”, “Light Blue Stripe”, “The Kiss”, “Organic Stripe”.

One of our favorite design themes is a blend of warm and cool whites, and Cristi’s collection contains some fascinating neutral toned examples that are anything but bland.

She has combined coveted retireds such as “Chai Bud”, “Grey Armadillo” and “Turquoise Dot” with current collection stars such as “Conch” and Switzerland’s World Tour entry, “Mountain Crystal”.  A very unusual, grey “Blue Desert” plays as a neutral, and a retired “King and Queen” beautifully echoes the blue dots of the “Turquoise Dot”.  The retired “Sparrow” is a sweet touch…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp” (retired), “Grey Armadillo”(retired), “Deck of Cards”, “Turquoise Dot”(retired), “Happy Fish”, “Conch”, “King and Queen”(retired), “Blue Desert”, “Sparrow”(retired), “Chai Bud” (retired), “Royal”, “Mountain Crystal” (Switzerland World Tour), “Heart”, “Beige Blue Dot”.

… What could you do with your beads if you re imagined them?


Trollbeads Inspiration: Blue & White Beach Blanket

Recently I was at the beach with the kids, sitting in the shade of a friendly tree on a comfy, soft & faded, blue and white quilt, and had a little flash of inspiration for my “Blooming Sakura” bead… (Is it odd that I had my Trollbeads with me at the beach? Say it isn’t so…)

I decided to make up a fantasy necklace using the rich, medium blues of “Blooming Sakura” and “Green Lilac Armadillo”, along with a few blue-greys and crisp whites.  I love the way the “Labradorite” marries the greys and blues with its bright flash…

I was glad that this composition was a perfect fit for this lovely clear “Mountain Crystal” from the Switzerland World Tour series.  (One of my favorite new beads…)  Its pure white pops dramatically between these two darker beads, and catches the light in the prettiest way…

In this design, the “Blue Desert” functions as a grey element.  This works for this particular example of the bead, which is a dark, consistent gunmetal grey – but perhaps would not be as successful in other brighter examples.

Of course, the star of the design is the “Blooming Sakura” itself.  This is one of the most popular of the World Tour series, and with good reason.  It’s delicately modeled flowers are truly outstanding in the collection, and the colour palette is unique.

From top of necklace down towards pearl:  “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl” (retired), “Cells”, “White Steel”, “Blooming Sakura” (World Tour Japan), “Blue Desert”, “Spot” (retired), “Green Lilac Armadillo” (retired), “Mountain Crystal” (World Tour Switzerland), “Labradorite”, “Big Earth”.

(Composed on a Fantasy Necklace with Pearl.)


Trollbeads: Every Colour Has a Bead

Time for a new look at Tartooful… you’ll already have noticed that we’ve switched banners here on the blog, and when you drop by the website or the shop you’ll notice more of the same theme:  “Every Colour has a Bead”

Colour is a deeply emotional matter, with certain shades evoking strong reactions of energy, inspiration or calm.  There has been lots of psychological research done on the subject, to try to harness the power of colour for various reasons… for example, fast food chains tradionally have utilized hot shades of orange and red, to encourage appetite in their customers, but also to urge them to eat quickly and vacate the seat for the next hungry customer.  In contrast, hospitals and prisons utilize the calming shades of soft green and blue to keep their “guests” docile.

However, colour is even more complex than that:  each of us has a deeply personal relationship with colour.  Not only do we bring all of our history and personal memory associations to the table, but each of us physically experiences colour in a slightly different way.  There is no question in my mind that one of our patrons, the venerable MS, receives more information from a deep, rich blue than I can possibly ever hope to see.  The impact that colour has on her is clear to anyone present.  I, on the other hand, have my “sweet spot” tickled by subtle shades between red, pink, apricot, butter yellow and orange.  Think of a Summer sunset, or a “Singapore Sling”!

What does this have to do with Trollbeads?  Well, everything, really.  The breathtaking range of colour found in the Trollbeads glass and natural stones collections gives intense satisfaction to the most diehard colour junkie.  The huge variety of shades means that everyone will find a bead that strikes them emotionally – we’ve seen it at Tartooful over and over again.  It’s wonderful to find someone who never knew how much they felt colour until they fell in love with a bead.  Suddenly, a new designer is born, right in front of us, as they can’t resist finding the perfect complement to this gorgeous piece of glass and silver.  The best part is that after discovering a magical colour, or combination of colours… you can wear it on your arm, and experience that colour “hit” any time you need a little lift.  Joy!

So… the new design theme at Tartooful, “Every Colour Has a Bead” is a nod to all the people who really “Feel” colour… and to the gorgeous designs that they create using Trollbeads as their canvas.


Fantasy Necklaces for the holidays…

This year Cristi and I decided that we had worked so hard at the shop that we had both made the “nice” list… so as a Christmas “bonus” to ourselves we are finally treating ourselves to fantasy necklaces!

They’ve been along time coming – you know how it goes, there is always something more pressing at the time, but we’ve been drooling on the ones at the store for months and it is finally time for us to have ones of our own…

So how to wear them for the first time?!  As you know, it doesn’t take much to create a gorgeous piece with these brilliant necklaces.

Cristi has had her eye on a beautiful “Labradorite” with the flash all on the top surface – hanging vertically on a necklace it simply glows!  We found a gorgeous “Organic bubble” with deep rich greens and golds that looks wonderful with the “Labradorite”.  The crowning touch is her retired “King & Queen”, with it’s two dichroic glass dots.  How perfect that one of the dots matches the blue of the “Labradorite” and the other is a rich gold that brings out the gold in the Labradorite.