Trollbeads Inspiration: Forsythia


Today’s sunshine and crisp nip in the air reminds me that it is almost time to trim my Forsythia bush and bring some branches inside to coax into bloom.  It’s a longstanding tradition in my house to pick branches on Remembrance Day, to plan to have flowers over Christmas.  A quick search on the subject online offers a host of advice, but much of it is irrelevant here in BC.  For example, one site suggested that the ideal time to force this plant is February, by which time our plants are already naturally in bloom.  They also give complicated instructions on how to achieve forced blooms… I had no idea that it was so difficult.

My approach is simply to trim a reasonable bunch of branches off the bush on a sunny day this time of year.  These are generally between 18-14 inches in length, since that’s what looks nice in a vase.  Then I take them inside and put them in a vase with lukewarm water.  Put them somewhere that I can admire them, check on the water level every now and then and that’s really it.  Very complicated.  It’ll take a few weeks, and then presto – you’ll have gorgeous sunshine yellow flowers on delicate arching twiggy branches, just when you need a little light.  If you start two batches, about a month apart, you can have some in January as well.  Sometimes the simplest things are the most satisfying.

As a side note, I’ve run into a few garden snobs who like to pronounce this plant name “for-sith-ya.”, with a short “I” in the middle.  Perhaps they think it sounds more British.  However, a true garden gnome would know that this plant is named in honour of  William Forsyth, a Scottish botanist and horticulturist who lived in the 1700s.  Among his other accomplishments, he was a royal head gardener and a founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society.  So it’s definitely “For-syth-ya”…. I wonder if he ever brought an armload of the bare, woody branches in to try forcing them… and I wonder what his irritated wife thought?  (“Bill, get those blasted garden trimmings out of my kitchen… “)

All joking aside, it’s a wonderful treat to have that ray of golden yellow at the darkest time of year, and well worth the few minutes that it takes to go trim some from your garden.

clockwise from clasp:  “Lock with Buds”, “Translucent Flower” (retired), “Green Wave”, “Soft Heart”, “Universal Unique”, “Christmas Rose”, “Universal Unique”, “Golden Quartz”, “Christmas Ornament” (Limited Edition), “Unique”, “Christmas Tree”, “Sweet Christmas” (Limited Edition), “Blue-Green Feather”, (Retired), “Christmas Berry”, “Earth”, “Christmas Ornament” (Limited Edition), “Unique Amber”, “Winter Snow”, “Anemones” (World Tour Denmark).

This gorgeous bracelet was designed by our very own Cristi, using beads from Tartoofuls’ stock… and it probably had nothing to do with Forsythia… but it instantly brought the plant to mind and I couldn’t resist posting on it.  (Forgive me Cristi!)

Enjoy this glorious sunshine…


Trollbeads Announces “Big World”

For those of you who have not already received this message from Trollbeads, they released the following this morning, along with the World Tour Collection:

“After having been on our travels with the Trollbeads World Tour Collections in 13 countries around the globe for the past year and a half, we now approach the grand finale.

Customers have constantly been asking us to sell the World Tour beads in their own countries. Therefore, we are thrilled to open the doors for the grand World Tour final! For the first time ever, we offer you a one-time chance to buy the beads from all 13 World Tour Collections.

As an extra souvenir on your journey, we offer you the silver Big World bead as a tribute to the world, to diversity and to everything that unites us.”

For more details on the collection, please go to, or come visit us at Tartooful!


Trollbeads Inspiration: 2+2 = wow!

Today I had the pleasure of visits from quite  a few of our favorite trollies, and they were kind enough to bring bracelets along to share with the readers of the blog!  So brace yourselves, there are going to be some great bracelets over the next few days!

clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Clasp”, “Safety chain, silver”, “Retired Gold Spacer”, “Blue-Green Feather”, “Limited Edition Chinese Silver – Great Wall”, “Silver Trace, Blue-Green”, “Trinity”, “Labradorite”, “Ugly Duckling”, “Earth”, “2+2 Gold”, “OOAK ivory & emerald”, “Strawberries”, Green Rainbow”, “Glass Trolls”, “Fireflies”, “Organic Bubble”, “Limited Edition Chinese Silver 2012”, “Green Prism”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Retired Gold Spacer”.

Today’s verdant treat for the eyes is courtesy of NO… regular readers will recognize her as a frequesnt contributor of beautiful designs, but today she shared her three current bracelets, which have all been enhanced recently with the addition of some stunning gold beads…

This bracelet is a great example of a colour washed design, with a gorgeous range of greens and golds that are artfully and asymmetrically balanced.  NO’s composition includes a few hard-to-find beads, and more than a couple of touches of rich gold… The power of these gold beads is hard to describe – even just one on a bracelet can take the impact of the design to a whole other level.

Stay tuned for more bead joy…