Trollbeads Inspiration: Lightly Into the Dark

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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C.

 

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Spring Whispers

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It’s a grey and drizzly day on the wet West coast where we make our home, and on a day like today it’s hard to believe that Spring really is just around the corner.  However, the subtle signs are everywhere, whispering that the season is just about to change.

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IMG_0969To begin, the hours of daylight are very slightly different.  For those of you who live closer to the waist of the earth, that may not sound like headline news, but for those of us who are farther North, light, or more properly, the lack of it, is a daily conversation.  Through the darkest weeks of the year, the sun doesn’t rise until eight in the morning, and has disappeared again by four-thirty in the afternoon.  Here it is, only a month past the Winter solstice and already the sun has relented just enough to light the way to school for the kids.  It’s a happy thing!

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IMG_0968We’re not the only ones that have noticed that the light is starting to come back to our side of the Earth… It’ll sound funny, but the squirrels about the neighborhood are showing the first signs of Spring Fever!  I watched out the kitchen window last weekend, laughing out loud, as what seemed like wild herds of Squirrels scurried back and forth across the front veranda.  I’m not sure what they were doing, (what happens in the front yard, stays in the front yard) … but whatever it was, it involved a lot of frantic chasing, fluffing of tails and chattering.

IMG_0970Meanwhile, Our elderly cat, Cookie was keeping a close eye on their dodgy proceedings, hustling determinedly along behind them each time they crossed the porch.  I would be concerned for the squirrels safety, but fortunately Cookie no longer poses any real threat to the garden creatures.

Of course, there are other signs about the garden of the coming change in seasons… The Willows are blooming long acid green trailing blossoms… the hazels are, too – some of them very tidy, like newborn pinecones, others more

IMG_0973showy, looking for all the world like microscopic displays of fireworks.  Everywhere that I look I see the promise of flowers to come.  In the case of the snowdrops, promise is perhaps the wrong word – they are already up, out and in full bloom.  The Crocus won’t be far behind, though they seem to pop out of the ground already in bloom, as if they think they’re running late.  The Tulips are pushing their lush green leaves out the soil, as are the daffodils, hyacinths and even daylilies!  I expected to see the Spring bulbs up and around, but I was surprised to see the Summer ones too.

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The Troll Anemone Pendant, in full bloom here on a Sterling Foxtail Bracelet

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Heaven Crane Lock”, “Unique Glass”, “Birds of a Feather, Small”, “Pink Gold”, “Wise Bamboo”, “Ornamental Flower Bead”, “Floral Wishes Bead”, “Crown Chakra”, “Healing Heart”, “Troll With Big Feet”, “Blossom Shade”, “Diamond Bead with Gold Core”, “Meditation Bead”, “Soft Wind of Change Orb Bead”, “Fragile Purity”, “Silver Trace, Gold”, “Rainbow Bridge”, “Trinity”, “Engraved Romance”, “Light Blue Gold”, “Fan of Kindness”, “Rosa Pearl”.

I know that in other parts of the continent, people are still cleaning up after the recent snowstorm, but here, after our grey months, I’m so grateful to be looking forward to the first days of Spring!

C.

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Trollbeads Inspiration: Limited Edition Blue Quartz

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 tartooful@gmail.com!

C.

Happy Trollbeads Day 2015

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Happy Trollbeads Day! 

IMG_9964Today marks the launch of the much anticipated Trollbeads Day Limited edition Glass Bead for 2015.  There has been much speculation about this bead, even after initial images were released on social media… there are so many colours and such soft, organic patterns in this bead, many collectors wondered if the beads would show large variations from one example to another?  Would the bead that they ordered be as lovely as the photos?

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IMG_9969The answer to both questions is a resounding yes!  This is a bead that includes swaths of white, grey, lilac, bird’s egg blue and two shades of green.  The colours blend effortlessly from one to another, making a soft and lovely palette with subtle

IMG_9970differences from one example to another.  In some cases the swirl patterns make nearly geometrically perfect lines, and in others they blur and twist in a fascinating way.  In some examples there is a little more of one colour, and in others a little more of

IMG_9971another.  All of this adds up to a bead where every single one truly is unique… and every single one is *Gorgeous*!  The question this year is not “Did you buy the bead”, but rather… “What kind of bead did you get?”.  Every single one is a treasure.

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IMG_9966I do hope that many of you will join us at Tartooful to help celebrate Trollbeads Day… we’ll be playing with beads all day, from 10 am to 6pm, so do drop by for our Trunk Show selection, special pricing, prizes, trades, bubbly, treats and so much more.  If you can’t join us in person, drop us a line at tartooful@gmail.com, or ring us at 604.924.0122 and we’d be happy to help find just the right thing for your collection.

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Happy Trollbeads Day!

xo

C

Don’t Forget… Trollbeads Day at Tartooful 6th June 2015

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Don’t forget… Tomorrow is Trollbeads Day!

We have been busy as bees, creating a wonderful event just for you…

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blog2with tempting price specials, prize drawings, amazing bead selection – including all the newest stars in the collection – bubbly… treats… and even an opportunity to trade with fellow collectors!  Bring a friend, and we’ll give each of you an extra entry for one of our fabulous Troll prizes.

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Our specials this year are simply fabulous:

  • Buy three beads and receive the fourth bead as our gift to you.
  • Buy a decorative lock and receive the sterling foxtail bracelet chain as our gift to you.

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We hope that as many of you as possible come out and enjoy all the celebrations with us in person – but if you are far away and simply cannot join us… you can still enjoy all the benefits of being a Tartooful Trollie.  Drop us a line at tartooful@gmail.com, or ring us at the gallery at 604-924-0122 and let us help you find just the right additions to your collection to make your Trollbeads Day 2015 a memorable one.

Hope to see you in the village…

xo

C

Trollbeads Day 2015 at Tartooful

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Is it just me, or does it feel like it’s time for a party?

Yep.  Definitely time for a party.  It’s time to have a big, classic “Trunk Show” Event to celebrate everything about the Trollbeads we love!  We’ve got lots of plans afoot for a memorable day, and we hope that you will all be able to come out and join us for a beautiful day.  Put it on your calendar in ink:

June 6th, 2015 10 to 6 at Tartooful!

You can look forward to…

*Release of the Limited Edition Trollbeads Day 2015 Glass Bead!

*Extraordinary selection and customer care

* Buy Three, Get the Fourth Bead at no charge

*Buy a decorative lock & receive the bracelet chain at no charge

*Buy a sterling bangle and receive two stoppers and a group 1 glass at no charge

*Trade beads with other collectors in attendance

*Complimentary design consultation

*prizes, bubbly and treats!

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See you there!

C.

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.

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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…

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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?!

C.

30 Day Challenge: Day 22

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

C.

30 Day Challenge: Day 17

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IMG_9548Today I decided to take a number of the beads that I used to create the orange and green bracelet, and re-interpret their colour in a completely different combination.  Ta-Da!  The beads that comfortably assumed the role of orange yesterday, are now playing the part of rich apricot to pink.  Such clever little beads!

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IMG_9546I started, as usual, in the very middle and selected beads that would set the tone for the entire bracelet design.  The central trio is sparkling and shimmering in shades of apricot and ambered pink.  Delicious!  Working my way out, I picked “Sweater” and “Ball of Yarn” – generously sized, round silvers that I find balance each other nicely.

IMG_9550Absolutely love this coral and glitter unique…

IMG_9547The silvers on my bracelets provide the framework on which I build groupings of glass or stone.  The silvers give me the ability to balance the colours on the bracelet according to what I have on hand.  For example, if I have more pinks than orange I might make sets of three with pinks on the outside two and orange only in the middle.

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Clockwise from Clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp” (retired Format), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Kimono Series”, “Unique Glass”, “Etruscan” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Pink Desert”, “Issey” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Ball of Yarn”, “Unique Glass”, “Artisan Champagne Quartz”, “Unique Glass”, “Sweater”, “Goldstone” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Golden Cave”, “Takma” (retired), “Petanque” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Rosa Pearl”.

C.

30 Day Challenge: Day 15

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IMG_9539Today I was playing about with my Trollbeads blue sapphire… I was Experimenting with various other tones, and exploring to see what sorts of colour companions were possible.  It’s a very soft grey-blue, a shade with which I play all the time – but in the 30 day challenge, there’s always the possibility of one more fresh idea!

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I had never placed these three beads together, and I quite liked it!  It was the kernel of an idea.

IMG_9540I pulled all my inky blues and all my lilacs and purples, and began to play.  This was a super easy design to compose and balance… Some bracelets are so natural that afterwards one sort of shakes one’s head and think… “Well, DUH”.  This was one of those bracelets.  I had ample beads in each colour family, and truly, it “built itself”.

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Entirely wearable… how can I never have made this bracelet?

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IMG_9537I love the way the pale shimmering blues in the Aurora beads are accentuated and enhanced by these slate blues – but absolutely not overwhelmed.  I find this colour combination easy and natural, but not boring or expected.  I’m delighted with it, and am sure I will play with this pair of colour families again.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic lower Clasp”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Limited Edition Kimono Series”, “Neither Fish nor Bird” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Violet Petals”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Rolling Troll”, “Limited Edition Chinese Jade”, “Sapphire”, “Limited Edition Pastel Agate”, “Clown” (retired), “Limited Edition Faceted Aurora”, “Limited Edition Kimono Series”, “Unique Glass”, “Sparrow” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Peacock Pearl”.

C.