Trollbeads Inspiration:Lemon Tart & Earl Grey Tea


IMG_1961This afternoon I’m sitting in a ray of sunshine at my desk at Tartooful… and I am craving a cup of classic Earl Grey Tea and a traditional lemon tart…. Do you know the kind I mean?  It would have a home made butter crust, with little fork marks around the slightly imperfect edge.  It would be made with free range, happy-chicken eggs with deep, rich eggs yolks… and the lemon curd would be that same, ridiculously beautiful shade of yellow.


IMG_1953…Not too much sugar, but just enough to take the edge off the tart, citrus flavour of the fruit.  That kind of lemon tart is so satisfying.  It scratches every sort of snacking itch… buttery, flaked, baked, sweet and sour pure afternoon sugar fix.  No matter how delicious, I could only ever eat one of these decadent treasures.

The Earl Grey tea, with its subtle hint of Bergamot, is an essential element, necessary to bring a little balance to the afternoon treat.  The tea cuts the tart, firmly forbidding it from becoming cloying.  Sipping from the hot cup demands that one slowly savour the whole experience.

Sigh…. are you there with me?  It’s time for afternoon tea.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Golden Flower Lock”, “Unique Amber”, “Silver MOuntain”, “Water”, “Unique Glass”, “Labradorite”, “Unique Amber”, “Smile of Stars”, “Unique Glass”, “Neptune’s Promise”, “Unique Amber”, “Neptune’s Promise”, “Unique Glass”, “Smile of Stars”, “Unique Amber”, “Labradorite”, “Unique Glass”, “Neverending”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”.



Trollbeads Challenge Day 7


Today I am replaying a concept from previous Challenge years… I’m trying a bracelet design using only my most petite beads.  It’s difficult to really get a sense of scale from the photos, as all the beads are around the same size, but all of today’s players are tiny.  I included “Small & Beautiful” glass, my very smallest silvers and mini ambers.


IMG_1792Last year I tried this same approach, and the result was a bracelet that felt surprisingly different from my usual compositions.  It was super light, and the itty bitty beads were tactile and wonderful.  My difficulty in creating that design was that I simply didn’t own enough tiny beads to create a palette and pattern that was pleasing to my eye.  My conclusion then was that I “*needed* more small & beautiful beads!  Over the past year I have kept my eyes open, looking for great additions to this niche of my collection, and as a result this year’s bracelet looks very different.

This is an absolutely fantastic bracelet for me… I love the way it feels, love the featherweight size and the colour combination makes me so happy.  There’s only one problem – I’m using lots of beads that I love to wear in other combinations… I can see that for the next little while my beads will be doing lots of chain hopping as I rearrange often!




Trollbeads News: Buy Three Get Four Begins


From today until April 8th we are delighted to offer a special price promotion just for our Trollbeads collectors.


With the purchase of three items, you may now receive a fourth item of equal or lesser value as our gift!

(Happy Dance!)


With a delicious array of uniques, as well as all our production favorites posted now in our online shop, it’s so easy to take a few minutes to yourself and have a little browse.  Pick your three favorites, check out online, and then drop us a note to let us know what you’d like for us to send to you as our gift!  If you’d rather have a personal touch, phone us at the gallery at 604-924-0122 or email me at and we’d be happy to work with you to craft just the right group of items.



New Uniques at Tartooful!

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 12.15.52 PM

Today in BC we are celebrating “Family Day”, a provincial holiday that allows us to take a day with our loved ones and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.  It’s a gorgeous sunny day, and you can be sure that the ski hills, forest trails, parks and beaches are packed with happy families!


Accordingly, Melanie and I are taking the day and relaxing with our kids… but you can still enjoy a little Trollbeads Temptation from the comfort of your couch – we’ve just received a massive order of the latest unique designs from Trollbeads, and we’ve uploaded them to our online shop, Tartoofultoo for your browsing pleasure!


Happy Family day, everyone!





Trollbeads Inspiration: Limited Edition Blue Quartz


IMG_0065Goodness… what a party that was!  Thank you to all you amazing ladies who came out, messaged, tweeted and phoned in to help make our Trollbeads Day 2015 so much fun!  I hope that all of you had a great time at the event, and are now happily ensconced, playing with all your beautiful new treasures!


IMG_0063Melanie and I were having such a lovely time, chatting with so many of our favorite Trollies, that we almost were distracted from the new releases… (*Almost*)… With not one, not two but three new releases in June, there’s a lot to keep track of.

IMG_0059First came the City Series of beads with complex and fabulous silver designs for Amsterdam, London, Rome, Shanghai, Seoul, New York, Tokyo and Capetown.  These delightful treats are only available worldwide until the end of June, after which you will have to find each bead only in its home country.  We have some of these lovelies in stock, and

IMG_0060can still fill your wish lists, but time will run out quickly, so let us know if you’d like any of these and we will be sure to save you some!

Next came the immediately legendary Trollbeads Day 2105 Limited Edition Glass.  We are currently out of stock on those lovelies, but let us know if you are still searching for that elusive creature and we’ll do our best to fill orders if at all possible!

IMG_0057Finally, the Limited Edition Summer Stones series launched for 2015… and there are some great beads in this set!  We’ve taken some time to play this week, and there are so many colour combinations that benefit from the addition of one of these stones.  The Citrines are gently lovely, and blend effortlessly with everything from pastels to

IMG_0055Ambers.  Howlite is a welcome addition to the collection of White Trollbeads.  Often in all-white combinations, texture and clarity become the focus, so Howlite with its distinctive grey veining and shape offers a fresh new option.  Orange Agate is brilliantly beautiful and will be drop dead gorgeous with jewel tones such as turquoise, emerald green, lapis blue or rich royal purples.


Carnelian shows a wonderful range from light honey to nearly blood red, all of it so natural and warm.  It is particularly well suited to earth toned bracelets, but is surprising and so beautiful with peachy pinks as well.  The matte finished Green Agate will play perfectly with all the beachy tones that we West Coast ladies love… and some of the less-patterned examples have a subtle, teal look to them that will be wonderful with favorite beads such as Black Flower Mosaic and Azure Bubbles.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Swn Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Art Deco” (retired), “Aqua Edge Petals”, “Blue Quartz”, “Florence”, “Shanghai Dragon”, “Labradorite”, “Whitecap”, “Green Jasper”, “Dragon Egg”, “Aqua Edge Pumpkin”, “Blue Quartz”, “Organic Bubbles”, “Royal”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Glass”.

Finally, there’s the Blue Quartz… which is precisely the colour I like to call “Beautiful Blue”… not quite Tiffany, not quite Bird’s Egg… it’s perfect with the Aqua Edge series of glass and just sings here among mossy greens!

All beads shown here are currently in stock at Tartooful.  If you see something irresistible, drop us a line at!


30 Day Challenge: Day 3


day3-detailToday I decided to play with combining beads that I had traditionally thought of as coral, with beads that I had always considered to be golden yellow.  As always, the challenge is helping me to see the true colours and potential of my beloved collection – and it turns out that the “corals” and “golden yellow” are really in the same family!

day3-detail3I first discovered the amazing power of yellow as a complementary tone in my first year of the challenge.  By the end of those thirty days it seemed I had found a use for my few golden ambers on virtually every day, and it was clear that I should find and acquire a few more special yellows to expand that part of my collection.

day3-front-detailAs you can see… a few more did indeed find their way into my design kit, and over the coming days I’d like to explore some of their potential.  Perhaps a pure yellow design?  Hmmm.


day3-detail2In this case, I added just a hint of very subtle blue, using our familiar friend, “Azure Bubbles” and a rather interesting pair of “Blue Deserts”… I can’t resist the combination of slate blue and golden yellow, but in this case the emphasis is not on the few scattered blues, but rather on the various tones and textures of the yellows.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp” – (retired format), “Aber Unique”, “Blue Desert”, “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Unique”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique”, “Van Gogh”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Golden Quartz”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Zanzibar”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Glass”, “Bee on Hive” (retired),  “blue Desert”, “Unique Amber”.

Trollbeads Inspiration: Perfectly Imperfect


IMG_8724Too often I see ladies who are frustrated with their Trollbeads.  They come to me and share their problem bracelets… they are locked in an uneasy struggle to create perfection.  For myself, I have no such lofty aspirations.  I try to make something beautiful, that gives me joy, but fully embrace the imperfections that are inevitable.


IMG_8727… “I think I’ll stick some gold right *here*”….

IMG_8721Consider a flower:  which is more delicious?  A perfect, trimmed, long stemmed red rosebud… or a messy, blowsy, tea rose, with every shade of yellow to pink and a couple of freckles along the way?  Give me the messy rose any day… The same is true with Trollbeads.  The beads with the strange little squiggle… the crooked leaf, the unusual tone on one side – those are all my favorites.  I adore the exceptional!


IMG_8723When I was a child, living in Turkey, I was told a wonderful thing by a carpet merchant… there is an old proverb in that part of the world that says “Only God is Perfect”.  No matter how gifted the weaver, you will never find an absolutely perfect carpet – because the weaver will have intentionally misplaced a stitch.

IMG_8725The purpose of this is to ensure that The Creator is not insulted by the attempt on the part of a mere human to imitate the divine.  Now I don’t think that I have to make an effort to ensure my compositions are not perfect… and I certainly will keep striving to create beautiful things.  However, it’s a gentle reminder that perfection is not a reasonable or even laudable goal.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Limited Edition Lucky Clasp”, “Blue Desert”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Three Flowers”, “Engraved Poetic”, “Sea Anemone”, “Unique”, “Paradie Birds”, “Limited Edition Lucky Glass”, “Amethyst”, “Fountain of Life”, “Moon Ocean”, “Aurora Flower”, “Unique”, “Limited Edition Lucky Silver”, “Third Eye”, “Moonlight Bubbles”, “Purple Prism”.

In the end, it’s the inspired and perfectly imperfect that gives me the greatest satisfaction.  So go ahead, make something beautiful, quickly and with great joy.  Don’t fuss, don’t worry if it’s not “Perfect”… just enjoy the process and the beautiful reward of the result.




Trollbeads Inspiration: Candy Heart


Happy Valentine’s Day!

IMG_8347I thought long and hard about what kind of bracelet to feature today, as our little Valentine’s treat to you… After all, there are so many fabulous design options for Valentines.  Hot pink and rich chestnut brown for raspberries and chocolate… Classic red, with gold, white, pink, black or even grey as an accent…. Pink and white… pink and gold… Diamond, heart or all sorts of “love” images…. really the choices are endless!

candy-heartsIn the end I decided to take a happy, joyful colour approach and take inspiration from classic Valentine’s candy hearts.

IMG_8348Tiny, sweet, with adorable messages and a quintessential Spring palette of purple, pink, white, green and orange… these little sugary treats only appear this time of year and are instantly recognizable icons of a childhood Valentine’s day.  They may not be sophisticated, but they are utterly charming.

IMG_8350In the newest waves of uniques to appear at Tartooful there have been so many very fun and fresh designs with lots of hearts, florals and just the right colours to built this sweet and flirty bracelet.  It’s packed with creamsicle orange hearts,  minty fresh flowers, buttercup yellow petals, pink polka dots and and plum perfect patterns.



IMG_8351In my bag of Troll Tricks this might be a bracelet that only came together for a few weeks over the Spring – but wouldn’t it be the perfect thing then?  I would rearrange all the beads for other times of the year and recycle them into Summer, Fall and Christmas compositions.  The Love themed silvers are easy to play with all year round!

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 4.53.13 PM

Clockwise from clasp:  “Cherry Blossom Lock, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Organic Hearts”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Unique”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Heart Conch”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Unique”, “Forget me not”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Heart”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Unique”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Neverending”, “Unique”, “Unique”.

I hope you have all had a sweet and lovely Valentine’s Day!





Trollbeads Inspiration: Crocus


new-4Despite several days of steady snow here in Vancouver, the flowers are stubbornly pressing on towards Spring.  Earlier in the winter a cold snap sent all the leaves into retreat, but this late in the winter the plants simply won’t be discouraged.  Everywhere I look, peeking through the snow are little green shoots that are defying the weather

new5and just growing anyhow!  One of the cheeriest plants of early spring is the crocus… they come in waves of colour, with different varieties blooming at slightly different times.   Generally speaking the smaller and simpler the blossom, the more likely the plant is to bloom on the early side, and to naturalize easily in the garden.


new3The larger blossoms are usually hybrids that bloom a little later.  (It takes longer to finish making the big flowers!)   There’s even a warm lilac one, Crocus Sativus that blooms in the Autumn, and gives us delicately delicious Saffron.  When I moved into one of my past gardens I had forgotten completely about this variety.

new6All Spring and Summer I couldn’t imagine what these lush tufts of green, swordlike leaves were, and why they didn’t set any kind of bloom.  Finally, the first Autumn the leaves died down and the cool pink blossoms burst forth, solving the mystery with panache.  The flowers truly do crash out of the earth, practically overnight.

new7A perennial grown from corms, Crocus come in all the colours of this bracelet- from creamy, buttery tones to rich yolk yellows and all sorts of purples… and they are such a delight – so I thought I’d name today’s bracelet for them to give me an excuse to chat about them here.  If you’ve missed the chance to plant ahead, pick up a pot in bloom and just pop them in the garden after they finish blooming.  They’ll come back and happily bloom for you again next year.


Today’s bracelet is made up entirely from Tartooful current stock, and all the uniques are now individually photographed in our online shop, Tartoofultoo.  (Don’t miss our very last Glowing Pansy!).  I’ll be adding more items over the next couple of days, so do stay tuned.


Clockwise from Clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Classic Core Unique”, “White Petals”, “Ladybug”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Blue Desert”, “Mothers Bouquet”, “Amber Flowers”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Limited Edition Glowing Pansy”, “Flowers” (retired), “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Sakura”, “Limited Edition Armadillo”, “Purple Prism”.

Trollbeads Trunk Show: Friday the 13th


more-rodsOur Autumn Trunk Show – is coming up fast in just two days!  Friday the 13th is going to be your lucky day this Autumn, with a wide selection of new beads, uniques and gold… not to mention trunk show specials:

Buy a minimum of 3 beads and receive a group 1 credit, ($33.00 value)  or buy a decorative clasp and receive a silver foxtail bracelet chain at no charge ($48 value).


glass-rodsAll that, and we’ll have talented Trollbeads Glass artisan Georgina Black in the room, making custom beads and helping us to raise funds for an East African microfinance project by!  Not to be missed.

We’ll be open from 11-7 on Friday to allow everyone to fit the event into their schedule.


Be sure to come by and visit us, (just think – you can try to squeeze us for details on the super secret “X By Trollbeads” project – launching September 18th!)

Our Tartoofultoo online shop will be holding a Trunk Show as well…Have you had your eye on one of our special uniques?  Or maybe one of the new collection?

  • use coupon code “gotrollie” to receive $33 off on your $133 or more order,

  • or purchase a decorative lock and email us to let us know what length of sterling bracelet you would like us to include in your order as our gift to you.

or even just ring us at the shop with your trunk show purchases:  604.924.0122.  We’d be delighted to help you find just the right thing by phone and can process your credit card purchases on the spot securely and ship your items to you at no charge.


Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 10.18.44 AM