Trollbeads Inspiration: “More is More” Fantasy Necklace


Amethyst and amber makes such a perfect colour combination for Autumn, don’t you think?

3Today 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.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Simplicity


Today at the gallery we are playing with a simple design of pure, Trollbeads silver…


I decided today to create a leather necklace that felt sleek, sophisticated and modern.  I carefully combed through the Trollbeads silvers, finding and selecting  all the boldest, simplest, heaviest designs.  These are geometric forms that give me such joy.  Their naturally balanced symmetrical forms are satisfying to work with, as they easily stand alone, or combine nearly effortlessly with similar companions.  Each one feels like a tiny, modern art sculpture – can’t you imagine them placed on nicely lit, miniature plinths in an art gallery for mice?

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6I began by placing “Victory” in the center of the necklace composition.  This marvelously large and dramatic piece melds organic, round forms with angular, chevron forms.  This was a fit choice, as it happily accommodates both rounded designs such as “Three siblings”, “Transformation” and “Trefoil Knot”, as well as more angular items such as “Smiling Cylinder” and “Two Sides to Everything”.  As I built outwards in the composition I occasionally added a matched pair of beads.  This gives a sense of balance and rhythm to the design, without the rigidity – not to mention predictability – of a perfectly matched set of paired beads.


From left to right:  “Water”,   “Neverending”, “Two Sides to Everything”, “Three Siblings”, “Transformation”, “Endless”, “Soft Heart”, “Victory”, “Frames”, “Endless”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Love Within”, “Water”.


2016 Trollbeads Challenge: Finale


IMG_1854Well.  Here we are at Day 14, and the end of this year’s fast and furious Trollbeads Challenge at Tartooful.  Normally I’d be just getting warmed up, with many days left to explore all the facets of my collection, but this year we shortened the challenge to encourage more of you to take the plunge and join in.  Like every year, I feel as though I really am just getting started.  Every day that I perform the ritual of creating a fresh design, I have more and more ideas for future designs.  Like every year, I have ended the Challenge with more unexplored inspiration than when I began.


IMG_1855I’d like to thank so many of you for your support and participation.  Having all of you playing along with me each day gives me a real sense of the extraordinary community of Trollbeads collectors that I’m privileged to know, both in the gallery and online.  I’ve been delighted and inspired by so many of your creative and beautiful designs.  Your daily encouragement and kind words for both my designs and the compositions of other collectors brings an element of joy to this exercise that goes far beyond the pure aesthetics of our designs.  Thank you, my friends….


On countless occasions I’ve explained Trollbeads to neophytes as “Like Lego for Ladies”.  In other words, Trollbeads are cleverly designed components that can be built and rebuilt as many times as you like, in endless combinations.  To emphasize the versatility of Trollbeads,  I’ve chosen to finish the Challenge by creating a “convertible” design that can easily be worn as either a bracelet or necklace.  For this design you’ll need three bracelet chains, with two of them the same length.  You’ll also need two decorative locks that are similar in form. They don’t have to be identical, here I’ve chosen two one-piece locks with different patterns.  You’ll also need a third lock to close the necklace at the back of the neck.  Place a simple but elegant group of beads, and center them on a bracelet chain with a pair of stoppers.  On the other two bracelet chains add a handful of beads that are twins, so on each bracelet are a very similar group of beads, in the same order.  connect these two chains to the bottom one with the centered grouping using the matched pair of locks, and voila!  A necklace.  Remove the center portion, and it can be worn alone as a bracelet.


There are endless variations on this – filling all the chains with beads, using a leather for the back of the neck and so on… but the basic concept that you can create a necklace – by combining your various Trollbeads components remains the same.

In the end, Trollbeads is simply a creative toolbox to design whatever jewellery you wish… and it just begs for play!

Thanks for playing along with me!




Trollbeads Inspiration: “Just Like Heaven”


IMG_0571“Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream” she said
“The one that makes me laugh” she said
And threw her arms around my neck

“Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I’ll run away with you
I’ll run away with you”


IMG_0570Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed her face and kissed her head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make her glow
“Why are you so far away?” she said
“Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you
That I’m in love with you”


Soft and only
Lost and lonely
Strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You’re just like a dream
You’re just like a dream

IMG_0567Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes

And found myself alone, alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl I loved
And drowned her deep inside of me


Soft and lonely
Lost and lonely
Just like heaven.”

“Just Like Heaven” is track #1 on the album “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me”, by The Cure.  It was written by Smith, Robert James / Gallup, Simon / Thompson, Porl / Tolhurst, Laurence Andrew / Williams, Boris.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Golden Flower Clasp”, “Rosa Pearl”, “Unique Glass”, “Art Deco”, “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Mothers Rose”, “Unique Amber”, “Three Siblings”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Summer Dot”, “Flowers”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Unique Amber”, “Light Blue Stripe”, “Scarab”, “Silver Trace, Beige Blue” (retired), “Limited Edition Blue Quartz”, “Desert Flower”, “Trinity”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “traces”, “Paradise Birds” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Howlite”, “Rose of June”, “Limited Edition Howlite”, “Rose Quartz”, “Maternity 18k & silver”, “Unique Amber”, “Silver Mountain”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Unique Amber”, “Engraved Romance”, “Limited Edition Blue Quartz”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Limited Edition Howlite”, “Silver Trace, Beige-blue” (retired), “Dichroic Ice”, “Scarab”, “Pink Petals”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Scirocco”, Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Happy Fish 18k & Silver” (retired),  “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”.

All beads pictured are currently in stock at Tartooful.  604-924-0122


30 Day Challenge: Finale


IMG_9818Day 30.  Can you believe it?  The month has passed in a flash.  I have so many more ideas now than a few weeks ago… my collection will likely stay in a state of flux for some time, before my bracelets settle into new semi permanent arrangements again.

IMG_9817As expected, I haven’t gone back to my “before” photos even once, and have no interest in trying to recreate old designs.  I have too many things I want to try!  Of course, the 30 day challenge is an extreme situation… daily pressures and timetables prevent most of us from creating an entirely new composition each day.

IMG_9821Even if we did have the time, some beads simply sing too beautifully together to take them apart!  The distilled wisdom to take away at the end of this month long exercise is to go play and have *fun*.  There’s absolutely no wrong way to do this!


IMG_9820Finally, a heartfelt thank you to all the ladies who have played along with me over the course of the past month.  (If you haven’t been to our facebook page to see their gorgeous designs, be sure to take a peek at the album… ) Ladies, your encouragement, support and beautiful designs have inspired me more than I can say.  Thank you to each one of you for all your time and energy!

I hope to seem lots of you in person at our upcoming Trunk Show – if you are in our area on Trollbeads Day – Saturday June 6th – be sure to come by the shop from 10-2 and say hello!




Inspired Amber


IMG_8043It was a cold and rainy day today, and the village was quiet, with only a few damp shoppers scurrying from car to shop door, bags in hand.  It gave me a chance to play with a project that had been simmering in the back of my mind for a while.  I’ve been thinking of a necklace that is inspired by the warmth of amber, but with some beautiful glass mixed in too,

IMG_8042for a little pattern… a pop of crisp white and the occasional truly beautiful silver to break the beads into manageable groups.

I began by reaching for an array of amber with lots of variation in colour, size and clarity.  Everything from alabaster to ebony is on this necklace, with all the possibilities in between.


IMG_8048Next, I decided how I wanted to design the center of the necklace.  This will, of course, be the most noticeable part of the composition, so it’s important to really love this part.  I wanted a little shine and drama here, so I put an exceptionally large and lovely example of a “Gold silver trace” right in the middle.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 5.34.53 PMI framed it with a pair of natural stones – one “Red Tigers Eye” and one “Smoky Quartz”.  These faceted stones give a little sparkle, but the fact that they are not a matched pair stops the necklace from feeling too formal.  I wanted a more organic, casual mood.  I chose favorite silvers to divide the groupings of colour…


IMG_8044I wanted a necklace that was filled all the way from one clasp to another.  It feels much more modern and powerful to fill it right up, and oddly enough it doesn’t feel as heavy.  I think that when the beads rest on one’s shoulders, instead of pulling forward, the weight is more evenly distributed and easier to manage.  Of course, adding lots of amber helps to keep it light, too.

To design such a long composition I employed two rods from a play tray, and set them side by side.  Working out from the middle of the design, I built one half of the necklace on one rod, and the other half on the other rod.  It was easy to check to see if it was well balanced, simply by placing the two rods side by side.


Clockwise from clasp:  “troll tree Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Unique Amber”, “Lucky Clover”, “Unique Amber”, “Stay Positive”, “Unique Amber”, “Jugend”, “Cream Armadillo”, “Unique Amber”, “Golden Cave”, “Ocean”, “White Paper Fold”, “Unique Amber”, “Crown Chakra”, “Unique Amber”, “Paradise Birds”, “Brown Fusion”, “Unique Amber”, “Nougat Flower”, “Goldstone”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Dewdrops”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Silver Gold Trace”, “Red Tigers Eye”, “dewdrops”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Unique Glass”, “Cosy”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Rolling Troll”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Amber”, “Scirocco”, “Unique Amber”, “Angels’ Feathers”, “Golden Cave”, “Unique Amber”, “Crown Chakra”, “Transformation”, “Unique Amber”, “Heart 4 You”, “Unique Amber”, “Lucky Clover”, “Unique Amber”, “Royal”, “Unique Amber”.

What a fun project!  I am feeling inspired to try a necklace using my own collection and see what combinations I can create… Hope you are feeling inspired too!




Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 11

big-necklace1Oh Yes I did…

longnecklace7What started off yesterday as a simple necklace has… evolved.

In this design the objective was a super long and dramatic opera length necklace that showcased a wide range of colours from my collection.

longnecklace6The first step was to build a series of bracelets that felt similar in tone and were very close in length.  Obviously the chains were all the same to begin with, but I also wanted the amount of beads on each one to measure about the same so they would balance.

longnecklace5Building four similar bracelets became a bit of a technical affair, counting out even numbers of silvers, balancing out big and small, round and irregular.  Then I divided out all the colours and dispersed them evenly.

big-necklaceI edited the colours before beginning the process of building the bracelets, setting aside the brightest and boldest colours.  I wanted the overall effect to be a calm and pretty wash, with no one bead claiming more attention than the others.  I did keep the peacock pearl bracelet exactly as it was yesterday, and integrated it.


My thought was that it would be intriguing to have that simple, visual space on one side of the necklace.

longnecklace8Building each one of these components reminded me of when I first started in Trollbeads a number of years ago… my first bracelet was made up simply of beads I loved, in colours that I liked together.  I didn’t create to a specific palette of theme, so there was a little pink, a little blue, a touch of green, a butter yellow amber, a bit of teal, and somehow they all got a long perfectly.


…So in total I used six bracelets:  five silver, and one black leather for the back of the neck.  I also needed six clasps and two stoppers.  There are no beads on the leather bracelet, and there are about sixteen or seventeen beads on each silver bracelet, other than the one with only the pearl.  If one had more stoppers, one could put less beads on each necklace, and center them with stoppers for a lighter and, in some ways, more exciting design.  If I had used less beads and edited rigorously according to a chosen palette, I could have created a more cohesive design.

It will be fun to expand on this idea and try other combinations…  I’m enjoying this necklace today!



Trollbeads Inspiration: Cozy up to Gold

There is nothing quite like the warm glow of gold… revered and crafted into items of extraordinary beauty in Denmark from the time of prehistory, gold is classic luxe.  We recently received a Trollbeads Fantasy necklace in 18k gold, which simply takes our breath away.

It’s easy to speak of gold as being an investment, but when in the presence of this gorgeous necklace it’s hard to imagine ever parting with it.  Perhaps it’s better to think of it as an investment in oneself, as there’s no question one feels different when wearing it.

it’s smooth, and surprisingly heavy in one’s hand… the gold quickly takes the warmth of one’s skin and feels dangerously comfortable… The perfect pearl is tipped with a beautifully wrought cap that is reminiscent of a flower bud.

…Now what to add?  There are so many palettes that would sing with this strand of gold.  We began with the ruby and took inspiration from its luscious berry tone.  “Cozy”, The luminous “Third Eye”, warm “Grey Prism”, intricate “Autumn Splendour” and “Fireflies” complete the composition.

I’d want to use my beads carefully and sparingly on this necklace… after all, who would want to cover up all that gorgeous gold?  Rather than filling it, it would be far better to play often with new combinations, and try lots of different compositions.

Let’s play with a few other palettes over the coming days to see how some of our favorite beads look in combination with the luxury of a little gold… what would you do with this necklace?


Trollbeads Inspiration: Joyful Frogs

We recently made up this necklace for display at the shop, shown here placed in front of a photo in the Trollbeads Coffee Table Book… It’s a sterling foxtail chain necklace, with three Denmark World Tour “Frog Princes” grouped together.

At first I thought that the frogs were joyful, then I realized that actually they look quite serious.  It’s simply that they make me feel silly and happy every time I look at them!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Simple Beauty Necklace

One of our longtime and dear Trollies dropped by recently and together we designed a simple, beautiful necklace that is neutral enough to enjoy everyday, but would never be boring… It utilizes Trollbeads’ Fantasy Necklace with the permanently affixed cultured pearl drop at the end.

The palette of the design is based on three beads:  “Deep Bubbles”, “Silver Mountain” and the natural stone, “Aventurine”.

“Deep Bubbles” has fascinating form, with spectacular, lilac tinted bowls in its’ depths.  The outer portion of the bead is mostly khaki, with some tints of vicuna and blue…

“Silver Mountain” plays beautifully off the blue, with its icy, beachglass tones.  The textured interior catches the light, and juxtaposed with the perfect finish of the glass surface calls the eye back again and again… It’s a genius bead and is one of my favorites.

We chose the silvers carefully, to taper the scale from large, at the bottom, to petite at the top.  We wanted them to relate to one another, so we picked ones that had similar elements of texture.  I like the way that “Sun Circle”, “Large Berry” and “Planet” all have the same knobbly surface pattern to different degrees.

Top to bottom:  “Planet, small”, “Grey Prism”, “Silver Mountain”, “Large Berry”, “Deep Bubbles”, “White Paper Fold”, “Sun Circle”, “Aventurine”, “Big Earth”.

Thank you for allowing us to share!