Trollbeads Inspiration: This Spring is going to be hot!

We’ve started to play with the new Trollbeads Spring 2012 release on the workbench, and we’re finding so many wonderful colour combinations… Today we’re playing with a juicy palette of rich greens and hot pink.

The “Diamond Bead, Pink” is the most drop-dead gorgeous diva of a bead in the whole collection – and here it shines in the spotlight of the centre position.  The newly released “Forest Flowers” offers a perfect complementary colour.

We’re delighted to have a new silver lock in the collection – especially one that is so unabashedly pretty, and so very different in form to the other locks.  “Catching Hearts” is a statement piece in its own right, and offers so much more than pure function.

The new collection has three new tassels to adorn our bracelets – for this design we added a “Green Flower Tassel”.  It looks fascinating:  liquid-clear, luminescent and glowing in the light. The droplet of glass feels irresistibly smooth and touchable.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Catching Hearts Lock”, “Green Wave”, “organic Hearts”, “Earth”, “Green Flower Tassel”, “Flowers”, “Pink Bud (retired)”, “Carved Flowers”, “Forest Flowers”, “Cherry Blossom”, “Diamond Bead, Pink”, “Gecko”, “Green Wave”, “Forget-me-not”, “Silver Trace, Pink”, “Paradise Birds”, “Mixed Armadillo”, “Love Within”, “Forest Flowers”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: CF updates for Spring 2012

CF’s remarkable designs have been an inspiration to many of us over the past couple of years… Her exquisite taste and uncompromising vision result in perfectly balanced compositions in absolutely gorgeous combinations of colour.

She selected this limited edition bead when it was released for the Denmark collection on Trollbeads’ World Tour.  “Anemones” is such a lovely creation, that it wouldn’t surprise me if it inspired much of the Spring 2012 “crispy green” collection.

At our celebration of the Universal Uniques last year she found two gorgeous additions to the composition:  the glass wave designs at right have wonderfully fluid patterns and feature unusual colour combinations.

With the release of the new Spring 2012 collection, CF found a couple of worthy additions… First, a “Forest Flowers” that beautifully echoes the original “Anemones”, while still having its own unique personality.

Newly released “Green Wave” tapers the bracelet down to the “Fish Lock”, and balances the Unique beads.  The ends are perfectly matched for colour, but subtly different in size of pattern.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Green Wave”, “Caribbean”, “Earth”, “Pisces”, “Mixed Armadillo”, “Turquoise Bubble”, “Treasures”, “Forest Flowers”, “Lime” (retired), “Blue Agate”, “Glass Trolls”, “Blue Agate”, “Anemones”, “Silver Trace, Green-Turquoise”, “Ocean”, “Peter”, “Turquoise Armadillo”, “Pisces”, “Heart Chakra”, “Universal Unique Aqua Wave”, “Universal Unique Small Green Ripple”.

Thank you to CF for allowing us to share this beautiful update to her Ocean bracelet… stay tuned for other bracelet updates over the next few days!


Spring Trollbeads 2012 part 2 – Chocolate and Cream

Trollbeads has concocted some sweet treats for us!  The Chocolate and Cream kit is deliciously warm, with melt-in-your mouth vanilla and mocha tones.  These are beads that will play beautifully in a huge range of bracelet designs… think of all the soft blue and grey compositions that will look amazing with the addition of a couple of these ivory beads… I can’t wait to see them blended with blush pinks, apricots and lilacs.  There’s no question that the three ivory designs in this kit are destined to become classics.  The soft browns will be stunning with ambers, warm purples sage greens and any of the organic tones that were featured in the blockbuster Autumn 2011 collection.  The three darker brown designs in this kit are wonderfully transparent, with the brown dots, stripes and flowers floating magically in clear glass.  I’m looking forward to trying these designs with soft blue-greys to see how that combination looks – I’m thinking that it would be very “west-coast beach”.

Cream Armadillo

An old Indian prayer to the armadillo: “Protect my borders, teach me my shield, reflect my pain so I shall not yield.”

Chocolate Dot

Decorative drops of delicious dark chocolate on base of white chocolate. A must for the chocolate lover!

Nougat Flower

Creamy flowers dropping their shadows on a white ground. Certainly, they make one think of soft, delicious and creamy nougat.

Cappucino Flower

Small and beautiful flowers in cappuccino colours elegantly emerging from a creamy base.

White Paper Fold

Tonal white in a fascinating pattern – just as the bead was folded in paper. There is something magical about this Trollbead.

Chocolate Stripe

Dark brown as the most delicious chocolate. Alternating stripes of frosted and transparent glass, letting the light shine through so it adds depth and movement.

Now… you’re going to need a few sweet silvers to go with these confections!


Tea is a good drink. It keeps us warm and is a symbol of care. This is for you for the wonderful times, we have had.

Cake Form

A bead for the chef, for she who always makes sure we have delicious cake.

Coffee Mug

To you whom I have shared so many cups of coffee and good times with. You know me so well…

We love this new Striped Onyx Kit… here’s what Troll has to say about it:

“Not one bead is alike in this beautiful kit created years ago at the dawn of day. Onyx is a real power stone – it sharpens your mind and gives you natural authority. These genuine natural materials are absolutely unique. They vary in colour and have unique inclusions and features that show their great age and natural beauty.”


Next up:  Silvers, a new natural stone, and a new lock!


Trollbeads Inspiration: a warm glow

It’s a horrible day out there – cold, wet, rainy and blustery.  The perfect day to cosy up in the warm glow of a Trollbeads bracelet like this one…

This bracelet was created by NO, one of our most accomplished collectors and designers.  She has a real talent for “colour washing” her designs, with balance created through subtle gestures of bead size, depth and opacity of colour, texture and tone.  It’s as though she places her bracelet on a mental scale, and they always come out perfectly balanced.  She also has a gift for unexpected colour combinations, composing totally unique, and very beautiful palettes.

In this bracelet, NO plays with warm neutrals, hinting at salmon pink, alternating with cool greys and deftly weaves a ribbon of fresh green throughout.  Note the green in the “Green Rainbow”, “Milan”, “Glass Trolls” and of course, “Florence”.  It’s one of the hallmarks of NO’s style that she is able to beautifully blend various shades and tones of the same colour family together… In this bracelet she has worked with many different types of gold, including the irridescence of “Honey Dawn”, the deep warmth of “Translucent Flower”, a very orange Amber, and the subtle, natural sparkle of “Golden Quartz”.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Clasp”, “Gold Lotus”, “Green Rainbow”, “Heart Print”, “Triple Pearl, white”, “Translucen Flower”, (Non-Troll), “Milan”, “Golden Quartz”, “Grey Squirrel”, “Big Earth”, “Unique Amber”, “Glass Trolls”, “Honey Dawn”, “Thumbelina”, “Rosa Pearl”, “Brown Desert”, “Gold Endless”.

I feel warmer already…


Trollbeads Inspiration: a little extra OoOoO

I’m still enjoying my “Copper & Pomegranates” bracelet so much, it’s almost embarrassing.  There’s just something about that mouthwatering combination of reds, pinks and peaches that hits my “sweet spot”.

I *thought* it was perfect, just the way it was… but then a couple of beads “happened” to me:  first, the 2012 bead retirements were announced, and I just knew I had to adopt a “Pink Bud” before they all disappeared.  I’ve had this bead in my collection at various times, but it always ended up on a customer’s bracelet.  This time, I’ll have to make sure it doesn’t migrate!  I love the way this colour feels right next to my “Red-Pink Prism”, which is also now sadly retired…

Here’s the other bead that “happened”.  Can you blame me?!  I mean, *look* at it!  (“Yer honour, it wanted buyin’…”)  It’s a Unique Amber, bright garnet red with huge sparkly facets.  I’ve never seen anything like it and I am in LOVE.  (Or is it lust?)  I’ve reordered another Unique Amber kit, and I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that there will be more beauties like this one!



Trollbeads Inspiration: Naughty & Nice, part II

Enough teasing… now it’s time to be naughty!

This bracelet design is a riot of rich, seductive colour… think “agent provocateur”, with black, coral, pink, purple, red and orange.  This design is flamboyant, and wisecracking, with red lipstick, hot pink nails, stiletto heels and a teeny little black dress.

You won’t find blushing roses and pearls here; instead there’s cheeky black and white polka dots, deep purple sparkle, tropical flowers at night, bubbles in a glass of pink champagne, and of course, “diamonds are a girls’ best friend”…

This “Black Gold” is like a band of gold lame… the “Lucky Clover” invites you to get lucky… “Summer Dot” is a flash of red and purple bikini & “Coral Flowers is hibiscus as floating decorations at a rat pack pool party.  It’s dancing on the edge of being tacky, but it’s gorgeous, and has a big heart…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Clasp”, “Pink Bud”, “Golden Cave, “Silver Trace, Pink”, “Two Sides to Everything”, “Amethyst”, “Brown Dot”, “Pumpkin”, “Endless”, “Pink Diamonds”, “Heart”, “Limited Edition Christmas in Hawaii”, “Coral Flowers”, “Black Gold”, “Paradise Birds”, “Summer Dot”, “Lucky Clover”, “Purple Stripe”.

So which is more fun?  “Naughty” or “Nice”?


Trollbeads Inspiration: Naughty & Nice part I

Which is more fun?  Naughty or Nice?

Let’s look at Nice first…

Our “Nice” Bracelet design features the softest, most demure shades of blushing pink… Ladylike pearls, pink ribbon, white flowers,  angelic feathers, and hearts of gold complete this “Sweetheart” of a bracelet design.

This “Pink Desert” is simply stunning… a lovely, warm pink, generously dusted with coppery rose toned gold.  The warmth of its glow reflects on the neighboring silvers, making them glow with a golden light.

Natural, “Rose Quartz, round” is luminous, with the most delicate shade of pink imaginable.

clockwise from clasp:  18k “Gold Heart clasp”, “Pink Ribbon”, “Whirling Adventure”, “Heart”, “Pink Desert”, “Flowers”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Summer Dot”, “Heart Ball”, “Rose Quartz, round”, “White Stripe”, “Angel Feathers”, “Pink Gold”, “Hearts, Large”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Rosa Pearl”.

…So?  “Naughty” or “Nice”?  Nice is tempting, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to peek at “Naughty”.  (See?  we’re already getting into the spirit…)


Trollbeads Design Methods

Regular readers of this blog will recall the amazing collection of MS, and her highly imaginative and original design themes… This bracelet has been featured before, but now has been re designed with a totally different approach to grouping colour.

When I saw how MS had redesigned this gorgeous bracelet it occurred to me that we had never discussed on this blog the various approaches to designing with colour that we see among our collectors.  It’s an interesting topic that is closely related to the study of how they select objects, but it’s not quite the same thing.

For example, in the case of someone who collects to mark significant moments in a period of time, and who picks beads that best reflect the event, the bracelet design will be shaped not by aesthetic, but by meaning.  However, for the Trollie who chooses beads more for their beauty than their specific meaning, there are a wide range of design options for arranging their collection in compositions.

By far the preferred approach is “Colour Balancing”: choosing a palette of colour, usually two or three dominant tones, and then arranging the beads around the bracelet so that the colours are more or less evenly dispersed.  This is certainly my usual method, and ideally, it results in harmonious compositions that feel balanced.

“Colour Blocking” is a much more unusual approach, but as you can see from the examples above, very visually powerful.  Some designs transition the colour from one to another, others simply group like colour together.  In the case of the redesigned “Trolls Treasure”, MS has arranged the complementary purples and golds directly opposite each other, and then alternated with blocks of brilliant teal.  In RT’s incredible armadillo bracelet, she has focused on variations in one type of bead, and by arranging all of each colour together one can better savor the subtle differences in tone, size and texture from one bead to another.  In our final example at the top, the designer has transitioned gently from one colour to another, from buttery yellow, to pink, to green, into brown and finishing on a brilliant stroke of salmon.

By far the most difficult design approach is to “Colour Wash”… In this method the gifted designer may create a balanced and harmonious composition without a specific, technical plan.  This involves selecting harmonious colours and using impeccable balance, which requires an expert eye.

MS’s design experiment shows us that one needn’t be restricted to one approach.  Perhaps the ideal is to use elements from all design systems to find ones own way… to create something unique, that gives deep satisfaction and that reflects ones own sense of beauty and balance.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Black Flower Mosaic

We’ve often laughingly said at the shop that we could design an entire bracelet around “Black Flower Mosaic”… We have an exceptional selection of this beautiful bead at the moment,  and decided to actually go ahead and play with the idea on our workbench.

The composition could have gone in so many different ways:  imagine a bracelet with “Black Flower Mosaic” alternating with jewel toned, clear glass beads such as “Lake Eye”, “Clear Blue Bubbles”, “Silver Trace, Green-Turquoise” and “Silver  Trace, Pink”… or perhaps “Black Flower Mosaic” alternating with the Chakra beads… or even mixed with Prisms….oh – and just think how incredible these beads would be with *gold*!

After all, the reason why “Black Flower Mosaic is so fascinating is the huge range of colour that can be found in it – both in it’s “mosaic” body, and in the dichroic glass dots that are tossed across the surface.  (Interesting note:  over the last few months those dots have gone from being round to square!)

Each bead is even more of a chameleon than that:  we’re always astonished at how different these beads look depending on their surroundings.  Place one of these on a rich autumnal bracelet design and the warm golden, or even bronze tones of the mosaic simply glow.  Next to greens, the mosaic takes on a cool, sage hue, and surrounded by any sort of blue, an electric blue and even violet, comes shining through, peeking out of the edges of the mosaic pattern.  Truly, such a chameleon.

In the end, I decided to focus solely on the Black Flower Mosaic itself, and try to truly see only it, not allowing it to become a mirror for its companion beads at all.  In order to do this I included only a few other like-minded designs, such as “Milan” and “Wildcat”, that share the same mosaic pattern and colour.  In addition, I included a pair of “Labradorites”, for their same, subtle, colour shifting quality, and then provided substantial silvers that allow the eye to rest between glass beads, and offer a valued contrast in texture.  When the composition was complete I was surprised at how important the colour of the dichroic glass dots had become – they jump out of this very subtle design.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Paradise Birds”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Labradorite”, “Wildcat (retired)”, “Silver Whorl”, “Milan”, “Silver Whorl”, “Labradorite”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Jugend”, “Black Flower Mosaic”.


Trollbeads: The Seer

There are certain Trollbeads that beg to be put on tiny plinths, to be shown off as the miniature sculptures that they truly are.  “Buddha”, “Birdhouse”, “Origami”, “Frog”, and the “Indian Elephant” all come to mind… But perhaps the best example of all is “The Seer”.

This beautiful piece is being retired this month, and while it is true that we didn’t sell very many of this large bead at Tartooful, I will miss it.  It’s graceful, lyrical lines are so lovely, and the little dichroic glass orb is so beautiful, cradled carefully in the figure’s hands. Dichroic glass is perfect to create an aura of mystery, with its subtle pattern and shifting hues.