Trollbeads Inspiration: Summer Naturals


We seem to have had a series of exceptional beads at Tartooful recently… from retired treasures, to fabulous unique ambers, to hard-to-find current uniques, we continue to find great inspiration in Trollbeads’ creations…


IMG_1999Cristi has artfully combined claret and rose for an unusual and pretty bracelet composition.  It includes the coveted “Brown Desert” at left, which seems to have vanished immediately upon its retirement earlier this year!  Note how its red undertones work with the auburn of the “Golden Cave” and the large amber…

IMG_2000This very pale “Pink Desert” feels ethereal with “Rose Quartz” and a shimmering, honeyed-pink universal unique.  This softest shade of pink allows this bracelet, with all its warm naturals, to stay feeling light, airy and summery.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Clasp”, “Universal Unique”, “Fur Animal” (retired), “Ladybug”, “Pink Desert”, “Golden Cave”, “Heart Print”, “Classic Core Unique Turtle”, “Unique Amber”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Mountain Flower”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Rose Quartz”, “Small Planet”, “Red Mud Jasper” (Summer Stones Limited Edition 2013), “Unique Dice”.


Trollbeads News: Canadian Designers in The Peoples Bead Contest

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As passionate collectors know, Trollbeads hosts an annual design competition named the “Peoples Bead”, in which we are invited to submit our original bead designs on a theme.  This year’s theme is “Favorite Sayings”, a wonderful way to explore our cultural commonalities and differences.  Hundreds of thousands of entries are received, and then Trollbeads has the difficult task of narrowing the choices to just a few for our consideration.  At that point, voting opens, and Trollbeads fans from all over the world may view the finalists and vote for which ones they would like to see join the collection.

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It’s an exciting process, and all the more so if one has a personal connection with any of the final designs….  This year we are thrilled to congratulate the seven (!!!) Canadian designers that have made it to the final round, and we ask that you take a little time to go to to review and vote for their fine work.  Voting is now open – and we only have a few days to show our support, as the voting closes May 4th!

Here are our Canadian Finalists:

LawrenceWilton1.180612You are part of your home and your home is part of you.
Home is where the Heart Is.

Designer: Lawrence Wilton


This design represents the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side”. greendiamond3Meaning that from your perspective, other peoples possessions, job, and life in general may seem better than your own when in fact your just experiencing the feeling of never being satisfied. So in short, be happy with what you have.  It’s similar to the White Diamond bead, but one side would be a deep green and the other would be a dull tint of green to signify the two sides of grass. With the diamonds acting as dew I was thinking it could be called either “Morning Grass”, “Spring Dew” or simply “Green Diamond”. Designer: Kevin Powell  (Savvy Trollies will recognize Kevin’s name as one of last year’s winners, and a local resident and Tartooful customer… congratulations Kevin!)

363e36393d_1“Blood is Thicker Than Water”
The expression that family bonds are closer than those of outsiders…

rob-picks-2croppedDesigner: Rob Zylstra (Note:  Rob is a lovely guy, a North Shore resident, and a fine artist who shows at Tartooful!  Congratulations, Rob on your design accomplishment, we love this bead!  Cristi, don’t you think that you & your Mum both need this one?!)


owl2This design represents the saying “like a night owl” which is normally used to refer to someone who tends to be more active at night rather than in the day.  This saying definitely applies to me. I’ve always been a night owl since I can remember. It’s a two part fantasy necklace bead, much like the retired Little Princess.  The top bead makes up the owls head and shoulders. While the bottom is the lower torso, tail, and feet. The mid torso is left out so the owner can be as creative as she wants and fit a glass bead in between. My original idea was to have a single piece owl bead with an empty space to allow for a glass bead to be encapsulated within the torso in some fashion. However I felt it would restrict people from being able to fit in larger sized beads like Midnight Flower. Simply by making it into two smaller beads, it frees you to use any size bead of your choice.  I personally think this would even look great on the regular bracelet. I’d like to call this one Night Owl. Designer: Kevin Powell
363d3d3b3c_4“Variety is the spice of life.”
This saying means that life can be more interesting if we experience different things.
The star anise is a very pretty looking spice and that’s why I chose it to represent interesting things. I made it in various sizes to represent variety. I decided to make the star anise growing on it’s branches with leaves to represent life. I made this bead as a reminder to try new things and that life can be as interesting as we chose to make it. Designer: Tracey Pitz

“Don’t count your chicken before they hatch.”  This is a phrase that I have heard 363a3e3f38_1numerous times growing up and find myself repeating to my own children. The meaning to me is simply not to make plans based on things that you think may happen. Things are not always as they seem and may not work out the way you expect. I tried to think of a way to represent this saying without doing several chickens and one unhatched egg. I thought about other things that hatch and came up with the idea to do an alligator. I tried to make the bead originally with several chicks hatching out at different stages but found that detail was lost by doing more chicks and opted to do just one chick. Designer: Tracey Pitz


363b3a3a36_1” The best things in life are free.”

The inspiration for this bead is family, friendship and the beauty that life holds that doesn’t cost any thing.

I chose daisies linked in a daisy chain that wrap around the bead. The daisy is a symbol of both friendship and love. It makes me think of the many carefree hours I have spent as a child sitting in the grass with friends stringing daisy chains. I think of the sunny afternoons I have sat and made daisy chains with my own children. Flowers, sunshine, love and friendship, just a few of the best things in life that are free. Designer: Tracey Pitz

Every year we’re astonished at the huge amount of talent, time and care that goes into the design submissions…. this year is no exception, with a uniformly high level of accompishment from all designs, and a very tough competition ahead.  Please take a few moments to show your appreciation for their talent and care, and vote for your favorites online!  The winning entries will become part of the regular collection, and will be announced in October of this year.


Trollbeads Inspiration: “Urban Jungle”

You may have noticed that there are some dazzling new images on the Trollbeads Home website of

Troll has started designing a “Bracelet of the Month”, and for May 2012 they are showing “Urban Jungle” for our pleasure and inspiration.

This sophisticated take on Spring Green caught our eye in the new dealer binder pages issued this past January.  With some of our very favorite greens, silver in modern forms, chic charcoal grey and a touch of gold, it feels cool, stylish and spot on for the unique blend of city and forest that is North Vancouver.


Includes:  “Freya Lock”, “Turquoise Feather”, “Three Flowers”, “Grey Wolf”, “Snowflake Obsidian”, “Frames”, “Green Prism”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Forget Me Not”, “Eye Bead”, “Aventurine”, “High Heel”, “Earth”, “Around the World”, “Labradorite” and “Lake Eye”.




Trollbeads: Oh! Armadillo….

Isn’t it funny how just one bead can change the way one sees an entire category of the collection?

A couple of months ago I made the jump and tracked down a retired bead that I had always admired on Cristi’s light blue bracelet: the “Grey Armadillo”.  I had been thinking that it would be pretty to split my blue and grey bracelet into lighter and darker tones, and that the “Grey Armadillo” would be the perfect addition to really set the palette for the light blue composition.  (I’ll share photos of the results in another post…)

This opened the door for me to the world of Armadillos.   Of course, I was aware of the passion for these beads before…(You may recall RT’s incredible armadillo collection, a portion of which is shown above…)  However, despite having admired many beautiful examples, I had never succumbed to the lure.

The next devastating blow to my resistance came in the form of an offer to trade for another bead that I had long admired:  the legendary “Green Lilac Armadillo”.  When it arrived I wasn’t committed to adding it to my personal collection, but it only took placing it on my deep blue bracelet to confirm that I couldn’t let it go.  It glows.  It’s so unexpectedly perfect on the bracelet, it gives me joy every time I glance at it.  (pictures to come in another post… promise.)

So then there were two…  With the door now wide open I decided that it was really time I found a “Unique Raspberry Armadillo” for myself, to add to my “Pomegranates and Copper” bracelet.  (Let the rationalization begin…)  But really, isn’t it perfect?!

So then there were three.  With an armadillo prominently featured on each one of my bracelets I am now a confirmed fan.  I find myself playing with the armadillos on the display at Tartooful, trying them all together on a bracelet, or on my fantasy necklace… thinking about the impact of different colour combinations, and considering which silvers and clasps work best with these sleek designs.

For the record, I like to pair Armadillos with equally sleek silvers:  “Two Sides to Everything”, “Water”, “V for Victory”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “Three Siblings”, “Three in One”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Hearts Within”, “Endless”, “Frames” and “Double Heart” are my top few modern and sculptural silver designs.

I think it could be very effective to plan an armadillo bracelet with only knot work themed silvers as well:  “Trefoil Knot”, “Three in One”, “Three Siblings”, “2+2”, “Lucky Knot”, and of course a “Freya Knot” clasp.  I would probably use the “Lucky Knot” to frame the design, putting one on each end for emphasis.

It’s a wonderfully dangerous thing to have an entire bracelet designed in one’s head… At that point, it’s only a matter of time until it happens!

Meanwhile, I’ll hope that Anne Lilleby’s bead is among the new Spiritual Collection (Don’t forget to vote for her entry at I’d love to be able to add her design to my maybe bracelet…

If you’re finding yourself tempted by the idea of a delicious, Raspberry Armadillo of your own, please stop by our online shop, or pop by the Village and visit us in person…. we have a couple of these rare beauties in stock!


Time to Vote for the Peoples’ Bead

The Finalists have been announced in the Peoples’ Bead design competition, and Trollbeads fans can now vote online at Trollbeads Universe to pick which bead will join the collection in the Autumn.  Given the diverse nature of Troll’s own designs, it’s appropriate that the group includes a wide range of styles and subjects…

Mother Duck

“Mother Duck and her ducklings are swimming across the lake. Their little webbed feet paddle as quickly as possible to ensure they keep up with her.  This Bead represents family and how important it is to keep the family together. The inner circle of the bead represents water and the circle of the ducklings following Mother Duck represents the circle of life.”

The Piggy Bank

“The most classic piggy loves us is dedicated to saving or at least tries to.”


“During a trip to India I saw two puppies sleeping together, snuggled together, their heads resting on each other’s neck. This intimate posture moved me, peaceful and trusting, nothing could disturb them in their little universe.”


“Piecing together the many pieces of life – just like a jigsaw puzzle.”

Rolling Wave

“These rolling waves remind us of the mighty power of nature.  This bead is inspired by the tsunami that swept the east coast of Japan and left devastating damages on 11 March 2011.
The two silver wave discs are connected by a separate silver core piece (not show in model), which doesn’t bind the discs together too tightly.  This allows the wave discs to roll freely.  In sync, the discs make three large waves; out of sync, six smaller waves are created.”

Double Heart

“Double hearts, one in bright silver and the other in matte silver.”


“They say that there are only six degrees of separation between our selves and any other person on the planet.  Our lives are made up of intricate connections in the form of relationships and/or acquaintances.  Some of these connections are very fragile whilst others are surprisingly strong.  We are all connected by webs in one form or another, and they are frequent sources of comfort and support in our times of need. The message carried by this bead is that ‘You’re not alone’.”

Rosa dei Venti

“To always follow the right direction”

Be sure to visit the Trollbeads Universe site to see other designs that were submitted, and log in to vote on the finalist that you like best…