Trollbeads Inspiration: Lightly Into the Dark


img_2251Today, 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.


Gone are the memories of Summer – we are well and truly into the dark months of the year!

3-1The 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.


4-1So 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!




Uniques Event Begins!

uniques-event-dragonfly - 7

It’s happening again!  Trollbeads has sent us a HUGE array of unique kits to share with you.  Not only have they sent us all these yummy glass, but even added a tempting group of amber!  So quick – hustle on in to Tartooful to pick your very favorites and find all the newest and most exciting glass and amber designs…

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Not close to the gallery this weekend?  No worries, you can find all the kits displayed on our facebook page, for convenient, pajama clad shopping.  Just comment on the kit that interests you and let us know… even if you only want some of the beads in a given kit, be sure to hit it up with a comment so that if there are other ladies who would like to split, we can help to figure it all out.

uniques-event-dragonfly - 12Have fun browsing!


Trollbeads Mothers Day Gift


It’s almost Mothers Day here in Canada, and we have a special treat designed by Trollbeads just in time!

With a minimum CAD$150 purchase we are pleased to offer this limited edition Trollbeads key chain as our gift to you.  Each key chain comes with a grey tassel, Trollbeads tag and a universal unique glass bead.  This bead may easily be removed from the chain to join your collection, and any Trollbead you choose may be added to the chain instead.


We have a nice selection in stock, but don’t delay as they are quickly being snapped up by our collectors… To shop, drop by the gallery in the village, email us at, give us a ring at 604-924-0122 or shop online at Tartoofultoo online gallery.

Hope to chat with you soon!



Trollbeads Inspiration: “The Gold of the Sea”

IMG_0669amber like honey…

IMG_0658Some spectacular Trollbeads amber uniques arrived at Tartooful this week, and I couldn’t wait to sit down and play together a delicious golden concoction purely of these beautiful beads.  With such a wide array of colours, sizes, shapes, textures and finishes, these beads offer a complete palette with which it is a pleasure to design.

IMG_0662background image courtesy of “An Icon in Jewellery Design:  Trollbeads”.

IMG_0659I recalled that there were some very inspiring images of amber beads in the coffee table book that Trollbeads published a few years ago… so I used it as a backdrop for today’s photo shoot.

As it says in the book: “The Trollbeads with amber, hardened tree resin, tell a fantastic story.  Between 30 and 50 million years ago, 

IMG_0665resin flowed from prehistoric coniferous trees across an area ranging from the Ural mountains in the East to the massive Swedish forests in the West.  The resin dropped to the forest floor, where it lay for several millions of years, hardening to amber, often with an insect or a tiny plant fragment inside it. 

IMG_0666Later, rivers and ice flows spread the amber far and wide. Today amber washes up on beaches all over the globe.  Thousands of pieces of amber jewellery have been found in Denmark’s heaths and moorlands.  Danish Iron Age tombs have revealed that beads of amber and glass were often combined to make elegant necklaces for prominent women of the period.”


I can’t sign off without mentioning that these ambers *feel* fantastic to wear… they are so light and warm, even though they are generously sized.  They click together in a satisfying way, and shimmer and glitter in the sunshine!


All beads in today’s post currently in stock at Tartooful.  604.924.0122

Trollbeads Inspiration: Pistachio & Violets


purple-vineOver the past week we’ve been privileged to play with some of the loveliest uniques we’ve ever seen.  Trollbeads’ talented artisans have outdone themselves yet again, stunning us with incredible colour combinations, and delicate patterns that feel as though they must have been created by pixies.

buttercupOne of the combinations we’ve been inspired to play together – purple and green –  is an old favorite… but it feels fresh with a shot of new colour life, thanks to some gorgeous pistachio coloured uniques.  These designs, with their edgy greens and buttercup yellows, would also be perfect on a Spring bracelet filled with pinks & apricots.


Here these unusual greens sing with violets in a range of tones from light and delicate to deep and rich.

bubblesThe palette brings to mind candied violets and pistachio macaroons… sweet, luxurious indulgences that are just a little over the top.  We paired the glass with a few of the new floral designs from the Autumn collection.  Each of these flower themed beads features a tiny white pearl, nestled in silver.  Divine!

amber-flowersWe selected this “Amber Violets” for it’s particularly lovely, translucent blossoms.  They are so perfectly formed – one can peek below each petal and see the throat of the violet reaching down into the buttery, amber glass.  We’ve seen a wide range of expressions in this design, and they are each pretty in their own way.


It’s easy to overlook the importance of the choice of lock…  but look how perfectly matched this lock is for the mood and palette of this design!


Note:  all of the uniques on this bracelet are individually photographed and online in our Tartoofultoo online shop…


I do adore this colour combination, for it’s mouth waterlingly tart greens, it’s sweet lilacs and of course the “fizz” of a perfect complementary palette.  However, in the end what I think is smartest about this bracelet is its wearability, and flexibility… I can easily imagine wearing this bracelet through all seasons… and could remix the colours in a heartbeat to have an amber and lilac bracelet, or a green and pink bracelet.  They’re just great colours to have in the bead box.





Trollbeads Inspiration: Garden of Peacocks

Engraved Azure

Our friend from the U.S.A., LD has been playing with the new collection, and when we saw this phenomenal composition we knew we had to share it with you.  (You might recall L.D. participated in the 30 day challenge here on the blog earlier in the Summer, creating a new bracelet every day for a month!)

Here she has placed a shimmering “Triple Pearl Black” at the heart of the bracelet, and surrounded it with a series of rich and dramatic blues.  There is an artful blend of brilliant jewel tones and dark mysterious shades, with a series of rare, Peacock patterned Small & Beautiful uniques stealing the show.  The new “Engraved Azure” looks right at home here, with its two shades of blue and delicate patterning.  Every single bead is a beautiful example of its pattern, and the whole design is absolutely stunning.

Thank you for sharing your new design, L.D.!





Trollbeads Inspiration: Surprise Necklace

fall-necklace-scurveThe Fall crop of Trollbeads is going to be stunning…

blue-diamond-closeToday I had a bit of an idea that really just got right out of hand… I began to build a bracelet design composed of rich, nutty browns with turquoise, teal and cobalt for a vibrant take on an Autumnal palette.  It would be a easy piece to pair with denim, but also fresh with the whites that we are seeing everywhere this Fall season.

fall-necklace-frontOops I made a necklace…what a nice surprise!

fall-necklace-doublefrontI kept finding gorgeous beads that would look great in the mix, and before you knew it, the project had grown from a bracelet to a leather cord necklace.  The chestnut tone of the leather looks fabulous with the colours in the composition!

IMG_2529 I could imagine a necklace such as this being designed from two or even three completed bracelets being scrambled together.  The key is to have a couple of beads that include several of the palette colours, to help to give the design cohesion.  Here, the two center uniques work beautifully as they include turquoise, brilliant blue and espresso.


Do you know, it takes two rods on a play tray to be able to design a full necklace like this one?  A longer rod, such as a narrow knitting needle, would definitely come in handy. (Don’t let anyone tell you that size doesn’t matter…) I used one rod for one half of the design, and a second rod for the other, placing them side by side to check for balance.


What do you think?  Do you have any bracelets that you’d enjoy as a necklace this Autumn?


Trollbeads Update: New Classic Core Uniques in Stock Now


image_3Well, our initial shipment of Troll-pet beads has quickly disappeared, but there is good news, too… In the same shipment we also received a stunning group of classic core uniques, all in summery colours  and patterns from Denmark.  Pinks, greens, turquoises, blues and yellows, oh my!  Be sure to stop by and see these beauties.


As for the elusive Troll-pets, we’re so sorry we couldn’t get more kits!  We will order more and and will let you know as soon as they arrive…




Trollbeads Inspiration: Shades of Amethyst

IMG_1899Thank you to Cristi for today’s composition…

IMG_1897We’re fortunate to have two exceptionally lovely Amethysts in the gallery at the moment, and together they display the unexpected range of expression within this natural stone.  For many years we’ve received the faceted version of this stone, and it showed a very narrow range of variations – a little darker, a little lighter here or there…

IMG_1895Recently we’ve noticed the range has become a little more diverse, with some very dark and very light examples appearing.  With the release of the Summer Stones series we were thrilled to see a huge variety of colours, clarities and patterns.  It’s given us an even greater appreciation for this stone, and we reach for it now more than ever.


IMG_1898In an interesting side note, the spectacular icy blue notes on this bracelet are courtesy of some of the colour change glass beads in the Trollbeads collection.  If you are not familiar with this phenomenon, there is a certain shade of light lilac that does change dramatically depending on what type of light it is exposed to.


media.phpThe prism shown above is the “lavender Prism”, and in natural or incandescent light it does appear distinctly pink in comparison to what you are seeing in this photograph.  The photo at left is its usual look!  In my photography light box, with filtered compact fluorescent light, the glass is transformed and appears an amazing ice blue.  You can see that the pale blue chess unique undergoes the same change of appearance… in the shop it is distinctly lavender.  This phenomenon has been known to take some of our clients by surprise, as they arrive home with their new treasure, look at it in the kitchen under fluorescent light and are astonished to see that it looks totally different than in the gallery!  We’ve learned that we must let our ladies know about its little quirk.  There are quite a few beads among the uniques that can perform this party trick, and I’ve often thought it would be fun to build an entire bracelet on this theme… perhaps with some “Inner Glows’ sprinkled in for extra drama!



Clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Universal Unique”, “Purple Prism”, “V For Victory”, “Unique Armadillo”, “Dice Unique”, “Amethyst”, “Universal Unique”, “Wold Tour Big World”, “Chess Unique”, “Amethyst – Summer Stones Series”, “Unique”, “Proto-Dice Unique”, “Smiling Cylinders”, “Lavender Prism”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Green Amber Bangle

IMG_0372With so many of our collectors snapping up the gorgeous new Aurora, we are seeing an explosion of new bangle designs!

The genius of Trollbeads lies in its simplicity, and I love that the bangle takes the purest possible form, a perfectly round torque with an opening at the back where the beads may be threaded.  The beads are then held in place with the silver or gold, rubber lined stoppers that were already a useful tool in the collection.  The bangle may be worn “nude”, and it’s pure design is stunning.  The stoppers may be used for so many other purposes on bracelets and necklaces, so they are well worth the small investment.


The bangle design shown above belongs to one of our local collectors, the lovely and beloved, KT.  Over the course of the recent trunk show we enjoyed visiting with her, and her (almost) equally lovely collection.  This juicy set of beads creates a gorgeous display on a bangle.  Its brilliant tone might be too intense for many collectors as an entire bracelet composition of 15-20 beads… but as a bangle it is a simple treat that may be changed on a whim for a new design.

We noted with delight that the dramatic inclusions in the center amber beautifully reflect the emerald glass on each side… it truly appears to have flecks of rich green floating in the golden amber.

Stay tuned over the next few days for more highlights of KT’s fascinating collection…