Trollbeads Event At Tartooful!


At Tartooful, there’s nothing that we love better than throwing a party…

…and there’s no better excuse than a big, beautiful shipment of unique glass beads and the most exciting carved amber designs that we have ever been privileged to see.

These are some absolutely drop-dead beautiful beads, and any one of them would instantly be the jewel of most collections.  We are thrilled to be able to present them to you!  This alone would be cause for celebration, but add to that a menu of classic trunk-show specials, and it becomes spectacular.

The fine print:

  • Purchase one item, get the fourth item of equal or lesser value as our gift


  • Purchase a decorative lock and receive the sterling bracelet chain as our gift


  • Every purchaser is entered into a draw to win a coveted 40th anniversary jewellery box.

Our event kicks off Oct 17th and runs until Oct 23rd, so we are looking forward to catching up with all of you in the Village!  Not in our neck of the woods?  No worries.  We will be posting our unique  beads on our Facebook page, where they may be easily browsed, even if you don’t have a Facebook account.  For regular collection orders, be sure to check into our online shop, and simply let us know in a note what item you’d like for your fourth item free.  We are also happy to work with you via email at, or give us a ring at 604-924-0122 for a friendly consultation by phone.

So… dust off those wishlists, bring us your partly completed projects and get ready to be inspired!



Trollbeads Inspiration: Inky Azures


IMG_0620A new wave of Azure Bubbles arrived recently at the gallery, and we fell in love with this changeable beauty of a bead all over again.  This grouping of glass are all deep, inky blues with a host of micro bubbles in each one.  The usual large bubbles are still there, but in the layer below that there is a subtle, milky way swath of the tiniest of bubbles.


IMG_0618They look almost like the silver dots in group two glass “Milky Way” – but even smaller.  It’s fascinating stuff!  For those of us who have a mild obsession with this particular pattern of bead, it represents an entire new are of collecting to be done.  Some of them are almost chocolate in colour, with just a hint of blue that shows when the light reflects off the core.


IMG_0617Others are a more slate blue, still others are a deep violet with subtle ribbons of indigo.  My favorites are those that have a hint of green in the blue, with lots of micro bubbles, and a flash of burgundy as the light hits them.  Gorgeous!

These new Azures are bang on for Autumn colour trends, and will be


IMG_0621phenomenal paired with rich clarets – think Rubies, cherry ambers or the upcoming Hessonite Garnet!  Today I’ve chosen a spectacular group of unique ambers that sparkle and glow in the sunlight.  They make a perfect foil for the deep navies of the Azures.


This bracelet was a cinch to play together… the Azures and Ambers work together effortlessly and with the addition of a few bolder silvers and a handful of Scot Bouwens’ beautifully organic glass – voila!


Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Azure Bubble”, “Magical Lamp”, “Paradise Birds” (retired), “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Amber”, “Stone Flower”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique Amber”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Unique Amber”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Silver Ornament”, “Cliffs”, “Unique Amber”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Jugend”, “Magical Lamp”, “Azure Bubbles”.

All beads currently in stock at Tartooful. – 604.924.0122





Trollbeads Inspiration: Palette Hunting


IMG_0581When you are mulling a new bracelet design, where do you find your inspiration?  Sometimes I find fresh palettes in photos, books or textiles… sometimes in a new blossom in the garden… and I often find a perfect palette encapsulated in one special bead.  The truth is, inspiring ideas can be found almost anywhere, one only has to look.


IMG_0578Today I was craving something soft, comfortable and just a little cozy.  It’s raining for the first day in ages, and there’s a chill in the air to which we haven’t been accustomed in months.  I played with various combinations, but nothing caught my eye… so I opened up the Trollbeads coffee table nook, An Icon in Jewellery Design and flipped through the pages seeking a colour combination that felt just right.

IMG_0579I stumbled upon an image with warm, sage green and a lush lilac, which reminded me of the “Fireflies” bead that I had already placed upon the play tray.  I added various other lilacs and greens, and then mixed in some golden, earthy tones for a bit more warmth.  Finally, to make sure that it stayed feeling like Summer, I tossed in a handful of subtle blues.


IMG_0582This lovely example of “Milan” helps to knit together the design, with a fascinating mix of sage green, vicuna and blue dotted across its black base.  I find that placing this series of beads, with their distinctive hits of electric blue, near another blue bead helps to enhance the range of colour.  The same is true of the “Aqua Edge Pumpkin” – place it near a blue bead to draw out the beautiful blue lines at the edge of each scallop.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Apple of Wisdom”, “Purple Bud” (retired), “Dewdrops”, “Etruscan” (retired), “Silver Mountain”, “Milan”, “Paradise Birds” (retired), “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Labradorite”, “Scarab”, “Fireflies”, “Tigers Eye”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Aqua Edge Pumpkin”, “traces”, “Moroccan Cushion”, “Unique Glass”, “Royal”, “Grey Prism”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Limited Edition Blue Quartz II


Today we’re photographing and uploading uniques into our online shop, tartoofultoo – but of course we can’t resist stopping to play a little along the way!

IMG_0048You could dive right into this colour!

IMG_0047Working through the rods, some particularly juicy violets and peacock blues caught my eye… in no time at all there was a little stack of beads that were just begging to be played together into a fresh composition.  To my surprise, the new limited edition Blue Quartz from this Summer’s Sunbeam Kit fits right in.


IMG_0046See how great they look, framing the Amethyst at the heart of this composition?  It’s a fascinating shade of blue, that just seems to adapt to so many colour palettes.  Here a few key beads tie together the rich blues and purples of the design… Some of the uniques are essential elements, but equally so are the “Violet Petals” from last

IMG_0049Fall’s limited edition, and production beads “Aurora Flower”, “Moonlinght Bubbles” and the “Whitecap” pictured at left.  I was delighted to find silver beads with dichroic accents that beautifully enhance the overall jewelled look of the bracelet.  Their precious drops of purple, sapphire and turquoise help to make the whole thing shimmer!


Clockwise from clasp:  “Lace Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Moonlight Bubbles”, “gentle Waves”, “Unique Glass”, “Aurora Flower”, “three Flowers”, “Limited Edition Violet Petals”, “Shanghai Dragon”, “Limited Edition Blue Quartz”, “Amethyst”, “Limited Edition Blue Quartz”, “Paradise Birds”, “Limited Edition Violet Petals”, “Trinity”, “Unique Glass”, “Aurora Flower”, “Three in One”, “Whitecap”, “Unique Glass’.


30 Day Challenge: Day 24


IMG_9768Yesterday when I was looking at the old photo of my original collection of Trollbeads, I couldn’t help but notice that all the beads that had shuffled out of my collection early on… were shades of green!  I shouldn’t really have been surprised, as I’ve so often created a composition with green – only to re-do it sometime during the day to remove

IMG_9767the green elements.  I love to look at green, but for some reason find it harder to actually wear it.

The breakthrough came during the original 30 day challenge, two years ago.  By the end of that month I had realized how very useful golden yellows were as complementary tones and neutrals.


IMG_9770I’ve never thought of myself as a yellow person, even had an aversion to it… but there is no doubt that the golden yellows of Trollbeads… murano glass, natural stone… amber… somehow those yellows are different.  These colour elements enhance blues, greens, purples, reds, pinks, even whites.  In this case I’ve created a framework of golden yellow to hold a handful of greens that delight me – in limited quantities.


The whole design is inspired by the distinctive central bead, a clear golden glass with an aqua green flower floating in its depths.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Double Lobster Clasp” (retired format),  “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Bead of Fortune”, “Unique Amber”, “Blue Desert”, “Unique Amber”, “Trollbeads Day 2014 Limited Edition”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Two Trolls – Limited Edition”, “Golden Quartz”, “Limited Edition Chinese Jade”, “Unique Amber”, “Neither Fish Nor Troll”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”.


30 Day Challenge: Day 23

IMG_9791Continuing on on the manner in which I began…

in-the-mannerToday I came across an old photo of my very first few Trollbeads… A couple of beads that are in the photo are no longer in my collection – someone must have fallen in love with them along the way – but most of them are still in regular rotation.

IMG_9786My Very first bead was this “Silver Mountain”.  I remember that it mesmerized me immediately, and there was no way I could resist its charms.  With its’ unique blend of earthy texture, palest aqua blue, and shimmering silver – it was a visual feast.  I still adore it, and find a place for it on so many of my daily bracelet compositions.


IMG_9788I decided to design a bracelet using my original beads as much as possible, and complete the design in a similar aesthetic with more recent acquisitions.  The photo at left shows my first silver, a Heart that was selected for me by my then-sweetheart-now-husband, Greg.  It’s satisfying simplicity works nicely with my next choice

IMG_9785of silver, the now retired “Sparrow”.  As soon as I saw this sweet-faced, chubby little bird I knew I had to add it to my bracelet in memory of my Mother.  She loved to sit at her comfortable kitchen table and look out over her bird filled garden.  She waged a hilarious battle with the fat squirrels who liked to raid her well stocked feeders.

IMG_9782Bee on Hive

IMG_9789Of course, I wanted my bracelet to not only reflect the ones I loved, but also a little of my own essence as well.  I’ve always identified with the Bee as a personal symbol…. Bees are busy, useful, little creatures that spend all their time working in our gardens to take care of their family, making good things from of little bits of plant that we barely even notice.  I’d like to be more like a bee!  I chose a now-retired “Bee on Hive” to remind me of my core values…


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Lock” (retired format), “Peacock Pearl”, “Light Blue Dot”, “Unique Glass”, “Petanque” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Sparrow”, “Unique Glass”, “Labradorite”, “Artisan Stone”, “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Silver Mountain”, “Labradorite”, “Unique Glass”, “Heart”, “Unique Amber”, “Van Gogh – World Tour Netherlands”, “Light Blue Shadow” (retired), “Brown Dot” (retired), “Rosa Pearl”.

It’s hard to believe that my earliest beads and I have been together on this Trollbeads Journey for seven years, now… goodness where has the time gone?!


30 Day Challenge: Day 22


Today I looked around for inspiration and found… Teemo!

teemoThe photo at left was taken in the garden yesterday morning. Looking at it once again, I was struck by the sweet face of our dog Teemo.  Teems has the classic “Merle” colouring of her Australian Shepherd Mom,  which means she has a dizzying pattern of freckles in shades of grey, black, walnut brown and white.  I thought that a “Merle” bracelet – or at least one with the colours of merle… would be a wonderful, neutral bracelet that I would enjoy wearing every day.


IMG_9712…But how to give it that little extra touch that says “Teemo”?  In the end I decided that the most distinctive feature of Teemo, (other than her dangerously good looks – lol) is that she is always tuned in and ready to work.  She listens constantly, trying to figure out what she can do to make her humans happy.

IMG_9713She guards us against squirrels and raccoons that might dare to tiptoe on our fence… she fetches balls for us, she does all sorts of useful tricks, she greets all the customers at the shop.  Work, Work, Work.  She is the hardest working dog in the dog biz.  So I thought that the best way to say “Teemo” with this bracelet was to exceed your expectations, and go the extra mile, making a second bracelet to pair with the first.

IMG_9718Simple silvers and a peacock pearl…

IMG_9714These two bracelets could be worn together or apart… on their own, or stacked with an armful of other modern silver pieces.  They would make a great everyday combination, which would work with practically everything I own.  Lots of my favorite beads ended up in this design, including my three Labradorites.


You can see straight away how much I wear some of these beads – look how worn my very first Labradorite is now!  It’s practically become a cabochon.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Chess Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Labradorite”, “Blue Desert”, “Brown Dot” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Spot” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “White Steel”, “Sapphire with silver core”, “Switzerland World Tour Mountain Crystal”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Shortcut” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Black Spot”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Sparrow” (retired), “Blue Desert”, “Scot Bouwens Artisan Bead”.

What a good dog, Teemo!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Simply Unforgettable


Simply Unforgettable.

We keep a copy of the Trollbeads coffee table book in the gallery, and even though I have read through it so many times, I still find inspiration in its pages.


IMG_6709Isn’t this a marvellous quotation by Lisa Aagaard?  It offers a tiny glimpse into the depth of her appreciation for her chosen medium of glass.  Whatever small understanding I have of the glass of Trollbeads… it must be dwarfed by the massive, masterful comprehension of the Trollbeads designers.  Only with a deep vision like this can collection after collection of phenomenal designs be created.

IMG_6703Three greats:  “Azure Bubbles”, “Dewdrops” and “Blue Desert”

IMG_6704Reading the words over once again, I think that here Lise has elegantly distilled the ongoing appeal of the glass.  This is the secret:  every time one glances at a favorite glass bead, one savors again the beauty and the detail of the design.  The subtle, shifting colours, the way the light seems to glow from within, the magical bubbles floating in the

depths… it all adds up to a delightful experience.  Aren’t we lucky, to be able to carry with us such a lovely little moment, to be enjoyed again any time that we choose?


This simple pleasure never fails to delight me…

IMG_6713What truly astonishes me, however, is how much I enjoy other peoples’ bead collections.  In other words, I don’t even need to own the bead in order to have that lovely visual experience.  It’s a simple, uncomplicated appreciation of something truly lovely.  It just makes me happy.


…Happiness on a silver chain… simply unforgettable.


Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 30 Finale


It is hard to believe but here we are at day 30 of the 2014 design challenge.  For the last month we have created a new composition each day, to be worn and enjoyed for only a few hours.  The next morning, the design was taken apart and we began to compose again.

IMG_6070Why take it apart each day?  It freed us to create pieces that we never would have made if we were committed to them for a longer length of time.  Through the process we pushed down mental walls that restricted our designs… Experimented with new colour

IMG_6069 combinations… Changed the balance of silver to glass… Combined the chain components in unexpected ways…

Over the last days I dug deep and tried to think about the last few mental

IMG_6068blocks that I was holding onto, and tried to tackle them.  I also thought about what I had learned this year, and shared some of my insights and small victories.  Today for the final design, I was torn between creating something divinely simple, or something fabulously over the top.  You can see what I chose!  As Melanie says:  “More is More”….


IMG_6066Today’s opera length, chatelaine necklace is composed of four bracelet chains, five basic double lobster clasp bracelets, an emerald fantasy necklace and of course, a schwack of beads.  I began by choosing some key beads to design

IMG_6065the tail of the chatelaine portion, right at the bottom of the necklace.  They set the tone for the entire composition, so they had to be just right.  I took care to set aside some nicely matched pairs of beads, and leave them for when I was

designing the arms of the necklace.  Rather, at this point I used dramatic beads that stood rather more alone, and were harder to balance perfectly.  These were strung onto the bottom of the Emerald Fantasy Necklace.


When I was satisfied with the tail portion I folded the remaining chain in half horizontally to “split” the chain.  I don’t own a splitter bead for my personal collection, so I simply added a nicely matched pair of silver “Bee on Hive” and started designing up the arms of the chain.  I’ve found that as long as the arms are loaded right up, the weight of the beads keeps a “split” in place.  I added a bead first to one side and then the other, taking care to keep the balance.  This was the time to start using those beads that were nicely matched in pairs.


The first time I designed this necklace I used all my beads in my collection, creating a riot of colour and design.  I loved it, but I knew I wouldn’t really wear it… so I took it apart and started again, editing out a whopping total of 24 of the beads that created the carnival look and strictly restricting myself to colours that sang together.  This second incarnation has more bare silver chain, but I like it much better.  (This was one of the big lessons of this year’s Challenge:  sometimes the best way to improve a design is to take a bead – or a bunch of beads – off.  Don’t be afraid of bare chain!)


To lengthen the chain beyond that of the normal fantasy necklace I capped the rounded ends of the chain with my clasps, and then attached a pair of bracelets to the other side of the clasps.  I put just three beads on each bracelet, and then repeated that pattern again on the next pair of bracelets.  This made a total of four bracelets, forming the sides of the necklace.  Finally, I added one last clasp at the back of the neck.  In total the necklace is a true opera length, reaching past my waistline.  However, the length of such a design would depend on the sizes of bracelets and fantasy necklace used.  If you didn’t have four silver bracelets and wanted to create the same look, you could substitute a leather necklace or a leather bracelet for two of the bracelets and it would work out to roughly the right length.


This was a very fun design challenge and a great way to integrate all the little lessons of the past month into one piece.  Best of all, I think I’ll wear this design for some time!  It’s very satisfying on… heavy, bold and very dramatic.  Think black tank dress, or skinny jeans with a black tee and a pair of simple black boots, or pumps – and this necklace.  It’s a “power” piece that makes one feel a little taller, a little sexier, just by putting it on.

IMG_6064So here we are at the end of the month… hopefully with a new appreciation for the potential of our collections, and a bead bag full of fresh ideas, just waiting to be enjoyed.  I want to say a heartfelt thank you to each one of you who participated in some way with me – by jumping right in, making up new bracelets each day… emailing me with occasional pieces to be shared with our online Trollies, dropping by the gallery to show me a new design, taking the time to follow along and encourage those who were on the journey… or even something as simple as writing a note to say you were inspired by the posts.  It all adds up to a tremendous feeling of a wonderfully creative and inspiring Global Trollbeads Family, and it means so much.  Thank you.  Over the next couple of days we’ll be tallying all the commentary online, and finding the ladies who were outstanding in their field – whether it be as a designer or as a supporter – and we’ll let you know who our challenge heroes are!  Stay tuned to find out the names of these “SuperTrollies”…

…and whatever you do, don’t stop creating just because the challenge is over!  Take your passion, and new skills and enjoy your collection like never before…






Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 5


IMG_5338After a cold and rainy weekend that reminded us all that Vancouver still has a little rain to go before we reach Summer… I was craving a bracelet that was just a little cozier than the ones before.  I reached for some of the richer, more ruby toned ambers and liked the way that they played with the caramel ribbons in some of the

IMG_5340Azure Bubbles, and so… day 5’s palette was born.  Usually I blend my ruby toned beads more with my warm pinks, apricots and raspberries, and only very rarely do they appear on the same bracelet as my blues.  The Azure bubbles that I play with here are more often found with clear honey ambers and golden quartz as complementary companions.

IMG_5334Love the little flash in the bead at right of center… Labradorite?  Sapphire?  Not quite sure… Whatever it is, I like it.

IMG_5336The garnet reds, warm chestnut browns, denim-y blues and touch of gold feel distinctly Autumnal in this design.  It was satisfyingly warm and cozy after our damp and chilly weekend, and I must remember this combination this Fall.  The Blue Desert shown at left, with its deep blue and abundance of gold seemed particularly at home here.



Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster clasp”, “Red-Pink Prism” (retired), “Blue Desert”, “Tupilak”, (retired), “Kimono Limited Edition”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Azure Bubbles”, “Jugend”, “Artisan Bead By Scott Bouwens”, “?! see caption above…”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Blue Desert”, “Silver Bead with Garnets”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Etruscan” (retired), “Azure Bubbles”, “Peacock Pearl” Limited edition .