Trollbeads News: Autumn 2014 Trollbeads Collection

IMG_6833IMG_6829Can it really be?  After weeks of anticipation, we are thrilled to present the Autumn Collection of Trollbeads at Tartooful!  If you are imagining us hanging out in Vancouver, giggling in fits of glee as we unpack the boxes, and rolling the beads through our fingers in delight… well, you are not far off the mark.  (blush) …

Today let’s take a little peek at a couple of the most exciting new pieces:  “Lapis Lazuli” is a rich new addition to the stones collection, and “Moonbeam Facet” will be the jewel on many of our ladies’ most beloved compositions.

There was so much buzz in advance of the release of the Lapis Lazuli – we were very eager to unwrap the stone and see if it really was as rich, saturated and downright gorgeous as the photos.  I’m so happy to confirm that this one is every bit as beautiful as the stock photos suggested.  We received a number of these lovelies and every single one is a stunner.

IMG_6827IMG_6828With a deep, clean blue and subtle dots of sparkling gold, these stones are classic examples of Lapis Lazuli.  In this composition we have placed it with other light, warm blues and lots of hits of intense sapphire blue.  It creates a bracelet that celebrates this colour saturated blue, while softening the overall look enough for everyday wear.  I fond the deep, cobalt blues of Trollbeads’ glass to be mesmerizing, and so very attractive, but simply too intense for me to wear an entire bracelet.  By adding compatible, but slightly more subtle blues such as “Moon Ocean”, “The Eye”, and “Wave of Dreams” my eyes have a chance to catch their breath!

 IMG_6832IMG_6824In this particular bracelet we have chosen crisp blacks and neutral greys to complete the palette.  This makes for a cool, classic look that could be worn year round, with everything from dressy to very casual clothing.  Another approach could have been to take our cue from the little hints of gold in the Lapis Lazuli… follow the lead of the warm, sandy “Milan” and “Black Flower Mosaic”, and introduce lots of warm khakis and golden ambers.  Honey or cognac amber would make a beautiful complement to the rich blues in this composition, and would create a completely different look.  I love to blend ambers, as well as glass such as “Dewdrops” and stones such as “Golden Quartz” with almost any shade of blue.  The new “Brown yellow chalcedony” will surely be a welcome addition to that arsenal…


Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”,  “Unique”, “Unique”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Labyrinth”, “Unique”, “Snowflake Obsidian”, “Moonbeam Facet”, “Soft Heart”, “Milan”, “Unique”, “Lapis Lazuli”, “Love Within”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Moon Ocean”, “Transformation”, “Fountain of Life”, “Eye Bead” (retired), “Moonbeam Facet”, “Water”, “The Eye”, “Faceted Chalcedony”, “Unique”.


Trollbeads News: In with the New…


The launch of the gorgeous new Autumn 2014 collection of Trollbeads is fast approaching… and at Tartooful we have been hustling, getting ready for the new arrivals. 

spiritual-ornamentThe Autumn collection is always the biggest Trollbeads event of the year for me… I find that the Fall collection is a welcome start to the cultural year, and an inspiration to redesign and tweak all my favorite bracelets so that they feel fresh for the new season.  The very strongest bead designs always seem to come from the Autumn collection, and this year is no exception. 

I am quite thrilled with both the silver and glass beads this year… complex, finely wrought designs such as the “Spiritual Ornament” and “Adornment” beads, or the new “Labyrinth” are on my wishlist.  They are so beautiful in their detail, and yet with their relatively clean overall form will be very easy to use with other favorite silvers such as “Silver Whorl”, “Angel Feathers” and “Sun Circle”.  I particularly like working with spherical silvers, so naturally, I’m especially delighted by the pair of “Spiritual” silvers. 


AppleOfWisdomI’m also looking forward to adding this beauty to my collection:  the “Apple of Wisdom”.  I love it for it’s simple form, and I can imagine it settling in perfectly with my clean lined, simplest silvers such as retired “Sparrow”, the large “Heart” and “Smiling Cylinder”.  It will suit both super modern designs, and garden or nature themed bracelets.  In addition, this Fall I could see many of our clients who are teachers choosing to treat themselves to this bead as a “Back to School” treat.  It will of course be a perfect end-of-year thank you as well! 

There are so many beautiful new silver designs, both from the Northern Forests collection and the Eastern Spirituality series… we have spent the weekend loading the entire collection into our online shop, Tartoofultoo.  To take a more detailed look at all of them, and place pre-orders to reserve your favorites, take a peek into our gallery there…


2014-Autumn-Red-Yellow-SNorthernForestKitThe glass this year is particularly exciting, with two very distinct sets of designs that will be so inspiring and so easy to integrate into existing collections… the Northern Forests glass series features classic forms interpreted in rich peacock blue and green tones, as well as a hit of coral red.  Bubbles, waves and flowers form a familiar family of designs, but in such beautiful fresh colours!  With the emergence of the peacock unique, lots of our ladies have created peacock inspired bracelets this Spring… these new glass will help to beautifully complete those compositions.  I can see the coral designs playing their way onto bracelets made up of warm auburns, coppers organic stone and finely detailed unique black accents.  We really are going to have so much fun experimenting and exploring all the possibilities for these glass designs!  (it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it…)



EasternFacetKitFinally, the “Eastern Facet Kit” is made up of a stunning array of sparkling glass designs… for the second time this year, Trollbeads has created a set of six beads that many of our collectors will choose to purchase as an entire set.  Over the past couple of seasons we have seen the evolution of this style of glass design, with the Limited Edition Mothers Day faceted bead, and several two-layer faceted glass in the Spring collection as well.  However, in this series Trollbeads has once again outdone themselves, exploring and marrying new techniques with old, and ultimately creating an entirely new look in glass.  I can’t wait to hold these designs in my hand and examine them closely…. but it appears that they have begun by creating complex base layers of swirls, smudged stripes, deep bubbles and even millefiori images.  Next a deep layer of crystal clear glass magnifies the base image.  Finally, the clear layer is faceted, shattering the appearance of the base and giving a fabulous sparkling finish.

Autumn-CloseUp-FawnAren’t they amazing?  I’m already a little dizzy with the thought of it all, and I haven’t even mentioned the new stones – Golden Chalcedony and Lapis Lazuli (eeeeeee!)… and I haven’t even mentioned the BATS?!!.  Yes, bats.  Time to dust off your Halloween bracelets and give them a fabulously creepy new friend.  We will talk more about the bats once we are out of flip flops… I’m still in denial that Fall is so close, so I’m taking a few more days of Summer first….

Meanwhile, do peek in on TartoofulToo for all the new goodies…and mark your calendar for a trip to Edgemont on September 5th for the grand launch.



Trollbeads inspiration: Big Rock Bangle


big-rock-bangle2Today we feature a recent bangle design by Cristi that combines some of the hot young stars of the new Autumn 2013 series with “Dichroic Ice”, a classic bead design that is long time favorite of ours at Tartooful.  The clear white dichroic glass is fascinating to examine, as it alternates between clear white and shimmering iridescence.

big-rock-bangle-4(See what I mean?)

This chameleon quality allows it to settle comfortably into classic white bracelets, but also to bring out blue, pink, green, or purple from its neighbours in a composition.

big-rock-bangle-5Here it echoes some of the fuschia and blue from the newly released “Moonlight Bubbles”.  This bead is part of the Aurora family of designs, and ranges beautifully from almost completely blue all the way to nearly orange.  All of the examples have waves of shimmering glass dotted with clear bubbles that feel like pearls.


The flash of shimmer and colour on this bangle might be what catches the eye… but the two “Diamond in the rough” silver beads will be what brings a smile to the eye… how fun!  They play on all our cultural associations with diamonds, and then brazenly toss them aside.  These are “rocks” for a very self sufficient, and utterly modern sort of girl.  What a wonderful gift from one friend to another… or to oneself!


One final note… I’m hoping to the “diamond in the rough” featured on lots of natural stone bracelet designs… what could be more clever than to blend it with other gems?

Where are you planning to put your new “rock”?



Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 6

IMG_1212A Happy Accident

IMG_1213Today’s bracelet is inspired by the happy accident of some beads’ placement on the play tray.  This morning I disassembled yesterday’s bracelet as usual, and grouped beads roughly according to colour.  When I glanced down at the rods with their neat cohorts of glass, my eye fell on a deliciously sparkling combination.

IMG_1207My eyes love to play across the sparkles

IMG_1210Now that I’ve seen these three beads together I can’t believe I’ve never created a bracelet using this exact combination.  I’ve owned all these beads for years!  I must have played with multiple deserts before, for clients’ compositions, but never on my own.  The rest of the bracelet followed so naturally, it was designed and strung in minutes.

IMG_1214Familiar, yet fresh thanks to the sparkling center portion featuring “Pink Desert”, “Golden Cave” and “Brown Desert”.  I’ve seen older examples of “Golden Cave” that were soft and tawny versions of this bead, with hardly any bronze and lots of smooth, metallic lilac toned gold.  They are stunning and I feel like I missed out by not finding one sooner.  Perhaps one day I will stumble across one.  It’s all part of the allure of Trollbeads.

IMG_1205I couldn’t wait to wear this design


Trollbeads Road Trip: A Beautiful Day….


It’s a special time of year in LaConnor, Washington…. the Tulips are in bloom!

tulip-close3The village of LaConnor is a century-old riverside town, filled with charming vintage homes, pretty cottage gardens, quaint shops and fascinating museums.  At times, it’s tricky to tell the museums from the shops, as there are an abundance of quirkily wonderful antique shops, bursting with all the vintage treasures that we remember from our grandparents’ attics.  Each Spring this sleepy town comes to life with the Tulip Festival, when the fields become broad bands of colour.

kidsOn Sunday we took a family day trip across the border to go experience this amazing sight.  We were fortunate to have cool, clear sunshine for our day, and we were able to walk the fields, surrounded by millions of nodding blossoms.  It’s like stepping into a painting.

tulip-close1You first see the fields in the distance, like a ribbon of crimson across the brilliant green of the farmland.  Unlike similar tulip fields in the Netherlands, LaConnor has the dramatic backdrop of the Coastal Mountains, giving the experience a distinctly West Coast twist.

flowers&mountainsOf course there are cut tulips and bulbs for sale, but there’s so much more than that.  Well organized farms present hayrides, historical displays, gift shops, art shows and childrens’ activities to keep Mom, Dad and all the children happily occupied.


However, at the heart of it is the simple, yet dizzyingly beautiful experience of simply being at the edge of a field of flowers in full bloom.

sb-beads2Ah, but what about the Trollbeads, you ask?  Well, you may recall that new Trollbeads designer Scott Bouwens of Bearfoot Art Glass has his studio in LaConnor… We took advantage of the day trip to stop in and see what is new in his studio.

IMG_0012I hadn’t been before, so it was such fun to see his cozy space, filled with shimmering glass treasures.  Even the rainbow of colour on his supplies shelf is a treat for the senses.  All the glass elements are made by hand in the studio workshop, and Monica Bouwens creates ready to wear jewellery out of Scott’s glass jewels.

sb-jellyfishThere are small and large core glass beads, glass creatures such as dragons, caterpillars, jellyfish and “friendlies” – odd little creatures that may or may not be actually friendly.  In addition there are necklaces, cufflinks, bracelets, and sets of beads for one’s own creations.  A tree drips with lampwork glass earrings in shades of blue, lavender and green.  For the glass artists among us, Bearfoot provides supplies and a line of exceptional tools to enhance one’s own work.

sb-glitterI couldn’t leave without picking a few lovely beads for myself in Scott’s distinctive, West Coast style.  One can see at a glance why Bearfoot’s work caught the eye of Trollbeads.  The complex, detailed style that is seen in the Rocky Beach kit from

sb-beadsSpring 2013’s Collection is evident in much of the work in this little studio.  I stood and agonized over the choices before me… I now feel full sympathy for the difficulty in choosing “just a few” lovelies to take home.  (Well, maybe more than just a few…)


daffodilsI came home with my head filled with stunning mental snapshots, and plans laid to bring more of Bearfoot Glass to Tartooful.  We already love the Rocky Beach kit, and soon we will be able to treat ourselves to some of the Bouwens’ glass earrings as well.

Cathy&kidsIt was an inspiring day… wonderful to have that time with family, and to be able to share in a beautiful experience.





Trollbeads Inspiration: All in a Row…


It can be one small gesture on a bracelet that makes it completely one’s own.  Here, PP has put three sparrows in a row in the heart of her bracelet design, a tiny symbolic act of love for her family.

ducks2This unusual design is most pleasing to the eye… the three beads function as one large and dramatic piece, which is beautifully balanced by other large silvers such as “The Spirit of Freedom” and “The Hare and the Tortoise”.

PP has chosen a blend of retired glass and glittering natural stones for a rich composition with lots of interest.  “Flowers on Indigo” is a keystone bead that sets the palette of deep green and royal purple.


I love that PP broke the design “rules” with such beautiful results… a great reminder to have the confidence to make one’s bracelet one’s own.


Trollbeads Inspiration: A Hint of Pink


pink4Today a new Troll collector paid us a visit with her first bracelet… so far, she has a blush pink unique and a retired “Grey Wolf”, which together hint at a lovely, grownup sort of pink palette to come.  I was inspired to create a bracelet based on her vision…

pink6The palest blush pinks give their soft glow to this bracelet, and subtle greys ground it and make it everyday wearable.  I added “Snowflake Obsidian”, “Labradorite” and a very dark “Dendritic Agate” to this mix.  “Khaki Stripe” and “Blue Desert” each contain a surprise hint of pink…

pink5For silver beads I selected an array of the fresh and lovely flower designs that are now available for us to play with… “Mom’s Bouquet” at left is of course one of the newest of these designs, but we also have “Blossoms”, “Swarm of Butterflies” and “Zanzibar”.

pink3No blush pink bracelet design would be complete without at least one “Rose Quartz” bead.  There are two in the Trollbeads collection – the round one at right, as well as the gorgeous faceted form.  I played with both but ended up choosing the more subdued smooth design for it’s contrasting texture with it’s faceted companions in the heart of this design.


Soft, pretty and simple… very tartooful.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Triple Threat


Something as beautiful as these Trollbeads Gold beads can stand alone… as is elegantly shown by these simple sterling bangles.

triple-5We chose some of our favorite gold beads to highlight on Trollbeads’ new sterling bangles, each one centred and framed with Troll’s simple sterling stoppers.  It goes to show that even just one little gold, all alone can make a huge design statement.


triple-4Blending different metal tones is white hot, which is good to know if you’re the sort of person who keeps track of that kind of thing.  I’m happy to say that the vast majority of our lovely Trollbeads collectors are not the least bit concerned with what other people think of their personal jewellery choices.  They’ve been merrily mixing metals for years, and looking fabulous doing so.

So simple, so gorgeous.  Love it.





Trollbeads Inspiration: The Soft & Subtle Side of Spring 2013


There is ample inspiration to be found in Trolls’ new “Rocky Beach Kit” of glass bead designs.  With fascinating depth, complex patterns and subtle, shifting colour, these beads are a radical and fresh design statement.  We couldn’t wait to play with these lovelies!

DSCN5343Of course, the entire kit looks wonderful together, with complementary tones of soft denim blues, sandy greys and browns, and warm golden and rust hues.  It may also be broken down into two distinct palettes.  one focuses more on the blues and ivories, and the other is an unusual combination of dominant amber and a touch of lilac.  Today we’ll take a closer look at the blues…

DSCN5348DSCN5350Viewed under macro the detailed texture of these beads is truly amazing.  There are so many colours blended together to create these subtle tones, the design possibilities are virtually endless.


The new ocean themed silvers beautifully complement this seaside palette, and of course, the new “Dendritic Agate” is a must for this bracelet.


DSCN5412Current collection beads to consider as companions for this new kit include local favorite, Labradorite, “Blue Desert”, “Silver Mountain”, “White Paper Fold”, “Conch”, “Urchin”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Morning Dew”, “Desert Flower”, “Traces”, and “Cosy”…


Clockwise from clasp:  “Dolphin Lock”, “Seahorse Earring” – repurposed here as a dangle on the clasp, “Cliffs”, “Coral Branch”, “Stone Flower”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Sand Beach”, “Starfish”, “Sandstone”, “Labradorite”, “Stone Flower”, “Sea Urchin”, “Cliffs”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Stone Flower”, “Sea Horse”, “Sandstone”.

DSCN5415This kit is an instant essential for many of our Tartooful collectors… including both Cristi and myself!  We’re excited to add a kit to each of our collections, and see how all the beads play with our soft west coast greys and blues.

The photos don’t really do these beads justice.  You’ll just have to come drop by the village and experience them for yourself!

Next up:  Amber for Spring!


Tartooful Teaser.

Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 7.58.32 PM


We’re sworn to secrecy, but we can trust you, right?

Ok, here goes.  “You-know-who” is releasing “You-know-what” in just a couple of days, now.  We could not be more excited.  We’ve seen them, and OH MY they are amazing.

We’d love to show you pics, but you know we can’t do that.

Nope, you’re just going to have to wait until Friday morning to see all the yummy new… “you-know-whats”….

(This is very awkward to write. )

We’ll have a full post with all the gorgeous details first thing Friday, all the lovelies in stock in store,  and of course, online.

See you Friday!