Charmed by Charm Addict


We were recently honoured at Tartooful by a visit by Leann of Charm Addict.  She’s the lovely and passionate collector behind the Seattle based blog… and it was such a nice compliment that she drove from Seattle to North Vancouver, just to visit us.  It was so much fun to chat with her over a cup of tea, and see her phenomenal collection…

It’s rare to come across a Trollie with such a focused collection – just look this amazing aqua array of glass gorgousness…

Isn’t it wonderful how she has blended her signature colour with so many different complementary tones?  Lilac, pink, yellow, blue, green, and even red appear here.  However, aqua green is clearly the dominant theme.  I’m so pleased that we had a rare, aqua unique prism to add to her collection, so that it was worth the drive up!

Leann’s blog is smart, inspiring and packed with information… be sure to check it out:

Thank you Leann!  Looking forward to your next road trip!

Trolleads Inspiration: Deep Water

The palette of this bracelet brings to mind the deep, dark blue lakes dotted about the mountains behind our city… surrounded by tall, deep green trees with the crystal blue sky above, it’s a shade of home.

This bracelet is largely composed of the new bead designs for Autumn 2012.  Of those, a few favorites are emerging and the bead pictured at left is certainly among those… “Wave of Dreams” is one of those beloved designs with so many expressions that we would happily build an entire bracelet of them.  They range from the very light, to very dark, with everything inbetween, including a dramatic mixture of the two.  We’ve seen ones with distinct gold veins, or white, or pure blue.  Wonderful!  Its perfect companion is the new “Eye”.  Very reminiscent of “Azure Bubbles”, but much richer.  This one has a gorgeous opalescent shimmer to it.

…Not to forget the Trees, here’s the new “Green Jasper”, with its’ mysterious deep, olive colour and unique veining.  Perfectly West Coast with the blues, it feels earthy, and real but still polished and beautiful.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “The Eye”, “Chinese Zodiac 2012”, “Flower of Dawn”, “Green Jasper”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Chinese Zodiac 2012”, “The Eye”, “Green Jasper”, “The Eye”, “Chinese Zodiac 2012”, “Wave of Dreams”, “Green Jasper”, “Flower of Dawn”, “Chinese Zodiac 2012”, “The Eye”.

I truly enjoyed playing with these beads and composing this bracelet… my personal bracelets are usually less structured, but these colours make my heart sing – and it’s a delight to be able to show the range of expressions of these lovely new designs…


Trollbeads Inspiration: Cristi’s collection Re-Imagined

Autumn Inspiration has officially struck Tartooful, and even Cristi has succumbed.  Cristi has stoically kept the same arrangements on her bracelets for years… but the acquisition last Christmas of a Fantasy necklace was the first strike towards change, after which more than a few new beads were added to the collection, and now that the new Autumn 2012 Series has arrived, her old designs have finally been swept away by completely fresh arrangements.  So grab a coffee, pull up a chair… Are you ready?  This is going to take a little while!

Her necklace is magnificent… super long and so rich with a tapestry of colours and textures.  It displays an enviable collection of uniques, retireds, and lots of unusual expressions of old favorites.

The golden tones of her old purple and gold composition help to bring rhythm and cohesion to the new design.  In addition, the abundance of translucent bead designs give a brilliant, jewel box feel to the necklace.

Cristi’s pale blues have been reincarnated as a much more subtle and moody composition with the addition of earthy notes such as “Labradorite”, “Milan” and “Organic Bubble”.  “Midnight Flowers” and an Artisan Bead introduce deep indigo.

It’s really the “Milan” in this design that brings it all together… at first glance this bead appears to be simply black and sand in colour, but close inspection reveals grey, vanilla, rust and a remarkable, brilliant blue.  When placed in a composition near to blue, this bead shows off it’s colours in a most surprising and delightful way.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp” (retired), “Artisan Bead”, “Hydrangea”, “Turquoise Ribbon”, “Neither Fish Nor Bird” (retired), “Labradorite”, “Mermaid”, “Light Blue Gold”, “Summer Jewel, Small”, “Midnight Flowers”, “Art Deco”, “Milan”, “Mocha”, “Light Blue Stripe”, “The Kiss”, “Organic Stripe”.

One of our favorite design themes is a blend of warm and cool whites, and Cristi’s collection contains some fascinating neutral toned examples that are anything but bland.

She has combined coveted retireds such as “Chai Bud”, “Grey Armadillo” and “Turquoise Dot” with current collection stars such as “Conch” and Switzerland’s World Tour entry, “Mountain Crystal”.  A very unusual, grey “Blue Desert” plays as a neutral, and a retired “King and Queen” beautifully echoes the blue dots of the “Turquoise Dot”.  The retired “Sparrow” is a sweet touch…

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp” (retired), “Grey Armadillo”(retired), “Deck of Cards”, “Turquoise Dot”(retired), “Happy Fish”, “Conch”, “King and Queen”(retired), “Blue Desert”, “Sparrow”(retired), “Chai Bud” (retired), “Royal”, “Mountain Crystal” (Switzerland World Tour), “Heart”, “Beige Blue Dot”.

… What could you do with your beads if you re imagined them?


Trollbeads Inspiration: Secret Beach

One of the secret joys of Summer on the North Shore is that we have so many little pocket-sized neighbourhood beaches dotted along the coastline.

These “Secret Beaches” don’t have concession stands or lifeguards… but they’re pristine, quiet, private and just a little wild.  They’re the perfect spot to take kids and dogs to simply lose an afternoon.  There’s one not too far from our home where you can beachcomb, tidepool, swim or simply sit and watch the eagles fish.  There’s always a couple of border collies for Teemo to play with, and the kids adore playing at the edge of the freshwater stream that parts the fine pebbles of the beach.

These places are closely guarded community gems… With parents bringing their children to the beach where they played as children, and meeting with other families with whom they’ve been been friends for generations.

It doesn’t take much to prepare… must haves include:

  • water
  • blanket
  • bucket and a shovel
  • snacks… (we prefer cookies…)

I should add one other thing:  optionally, a camera is a good thing, because afterwards you’re going to be so glad you went…

Your skin will feel sun kissed, windblown and golden… your hair will have a little ocean salt in it… and you’ll have sand in your shoes for a week.  In other words, you’ll wish that you had snaps to remember that timeless Summer afternoon.

I’m always amazed at the rich colours I capture with my camera on these days…  we think of our beaches as grey, but the truth is they are a textured feast of purple, green, blue, brown, green and so much more.   Very “Azure Bubbles”, isn’t it?

Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock, sterling”, “Seed Bead” (Africa World Tour), “Wildcat” (retired), “Light Blue Shadow” (retired), “Drumbeat” (Africa World Tour), “Organic Bubbles”, “Unique”, “Green Jade”, “Waves”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Urchin”, “Blue Desert”, “Spiral”, “Labradorite”, “Unique”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Drumbeat”, “Beige Blue Dot”, “Unique”, “Seed Bead”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Sunlight Ribbon

This time of year, there’s a magical time of night when the sunset is reflected back by the glass towers across the harbour… it creates the illusion of a double sunset, with pink and golden light all around that softens the cold water to a warm chambray blue.  The ribbon of light stretches under the delicate span of the Lions Gate Bridge all the way to Ambleside.  This phenomenon only happens for a short time, before the sun shifts in the sky again and it’s gone until next Summer…

(Quick, better design a bracelet!)

This bracelet is lighter than the colours captured in the photograph… but it *feels* right to me.  The bubble of joy that the moment creates needed a light filled, homage to summer – and this shimmering composition is the result.

Of course, the key element is the ribbon of golden light, which is beautifully represented by “Light Blue Gold’.  This group two bead has a soft blue base with a rich band of gold leaf suspended in crystal clear glass… I love Trollbeads’ description:

“In the sunlit pastel blue ocean, stretches a river of the purest gold, as if Neptune had swam by.”


I couldn’t resist adding this spectacular bead… “Happy Universe” is one of my favorite gold and silver beads.  Designed by Soren Nielsen, it shows classic Trollbeads attention to detail, with wonderful character written on the faces of the sun and moon, and even joyful little stars scattered around the perimeter.  That would be reason enough to include this bead… but the description is the clincher:

“We live in an incredible place, and the Sun, the Moon and all the stars on this bead smile on us. Wear your own smile along with this bead to add even more joy.”

I reached for sparkling, summer-blue glass such as “Light Blue Stripe”, as well as suitably themed silvers to complete the bracelet.  Here you see the “Mermaid”, but I also added “Pisces”, which is simply a wonderful fish design, much too lovely to be considered only a zodiac.

I picked “Love Spoons” from the UK World Tour Collection for the knotwork patterning on its verso… It reminds me of the swirling waters at the mouth of the Capilano river, where the freshwater meets the salt.  I added the “Diamond Bead, White” to echo the sparkling tips of the waves as they catch the last rays of sun.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Lock”, “Pisces”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac 2012”, “Unique”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “Love Spoons” (UK World Tour), “Light Blue Gold”, “Happy Universe”, “Crown Chakra”, “Love Spoons”, “Universal Unique”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Limited Edition Chinese Zodiac 2012”, “Light Blue Stripe”, “Mermaid”.

See you at the beach…


Trollbeads: Wedding Inspired

With Cristi & Christopher’s tying the knot today, we just had to feature a fabulous, wedding inspired bracelet that we designed recently…

Switzerland’s “Mountain Crystal” is a natural choice for this bracelet, with it’s perfectly pure white and wonderful sparkle!  Here, we’ve framed a romantic “Love Locks” from the Italian World Tour Collection with a pair of these lovely crystals.

This bead, “Big World”,  is a reminder to the couple to make each other the most important part of their universe…This design was introduced as a part of the World Tour international release on June 15th, and will remain as part of the permanent collection beginning with the release of the Autumn 2012 Trollbeads Release.
I had to smile when I added this bead to the bracelet.  It’s not very romantic, is it?  However, “Iron Wolf” is here as a nod to the tough times.  Cristi and Chris have already shown their strength while facing health challenges together. I know that as a couple they’ll be able to deal with anything that life throws their way.Of course, it wouldn’t be a wedding without flowers!  For this bracelet we’ve selected both the sunflowers of The Netherland’s “Van Gogh”s and “Eidelweiss” from the Switzerland series to add a graceful and pretty note to the design.We’ve completed the bracelet with one of our favorite uses of the seed bead… I love to see it framing the clasp, as it almost becomes an enhancer for the lock and transitions beautifully between the clasp and the beads.The Fish Lock is a good luck charm, as the koi represents success, high achievement and good fortune.
Clockwise from clasp:  “Fish Lock”, “Seed Bead” (World Tour Africa), “Viennese Waltz” (Austria World Tour), “Mountain Crystal” (Switzerland World Tour), “Eidelweiss” (Switzerland World Tour), “Mountain Crystal”, “Love Locks” (Italy World Tour), “Mountain Crystal”, “Big World”, “Mountain Crystal”, “Iron Wolf” (Lithuania World Tour), “Mountain Crystal”, “Love Spoons” (UK World Tour), “Mountain Crystal”, “Van Gogh” (Netherlands World Tour), “Seed Bead”.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Simple Beauty Necklace

One of our longtime and dear Trollies dropped by recently and together we designed a simple, beautiful necklace that is neutral enough to enjoy everyday, but would never be boring… It utilizes Trollbeads’ Fantasy Necklace with the permanently affixed cultured pearl drop at the end.

The palette of the design is based on three beads:  “Deep Bubbles”, “Silver Mountain” and the natural stone, “Aventurine”.

“Deep Bubbles” has fascinating form, with spectacular, lilac tinted bowls in its’ depths.  The outer portion of the bead is mostly khaki, with some tints of vicuna and blue…

“Silver Mountain” plays beautifully off the blue, with its icy, beachglass tones.  The textured interior catches the light, and juxtaposed with the perfect finish of the glass surface calls the eye back again and again… It’s a genius bead and is one of my favorites.

We chose the silvers carefully, to taper the scale from large, at the bottom, to petite at the top.  We wanted them to relate to one another, so we picked ones that had similar elements of texture.  I like the way that “Sun Circle”, “Large Berry” and “Planet” all have the same knobbly surface pattern to different degrees.

Top to bottom:  “Planet, small”, “Grey Prism”, “Silver Mountain”, “Large Berry”, “Deep Bubbles”, “White Paper Fold”, “Sun Circle”, “Aventurine”, “Big Earth”.

Thank you for allowing us to share!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Cathy’s design for JR

The inspiration for this bracelet came from the delicious, lilac and olive coloured “Triple Pearl Black”…. JR commented that she never quite knew what to do with it, so I decided to create a wearable, everyday bracelet that was worthy of this stunning bead.

JR has so many pretty lilac toned beads in her jewel box, it was hard to pick just a few to feature in this design… this unusually delicate “Golden Cave”, with it’s pink and lilac shades is perfect paired with a purple flower mosaic.  Nestled between is a limited edition Chinese ivory jade.

Soft teal is a perfect complement to lilac, so this rare retired “Shining Green Bud” is a good addition to the composition.  This design features silver leaf on the outer surface of the bead.  It was introduced to the collection in 2006 and was retired after only two years in 2008.  The silver leaf gently wears over time, meaning that each bead transforms and becomes even more personal to the owner.

JR’s artisan bead that is inspired by Trollbeads’ “Old Earth” fits right in.  In fact, one can easily be taken in by artisan beads such as these on after market websites such as ebay, etsy and even facebook.  Caveat emptor!  In fact, JR purchased this from an artist and knew that it was not an original.  It is, however, a very pretty bead and looks wonderful on this bracelet.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Lace Lock”, “Green Dot” (retired), “Fantasy Flower”, “Shining Green Bud” (retired), “Endless”, “Limited Edition Spring Flowers”, “Wildcat” (retired), “Jugend”, “Unique”, “Triple Pearl Black”, “Florence”, “Endless”, “Unique”, “Artisan Bead” (non-troll), “Summer Jewel Small”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Limited Edition Chinese Jade”, “Golden Cave”, “Silver stoppers”.

What a treat to be able to play with so many lovely and unusual beads… Thank you JR!


Trollbeads Road Trip!

Las Vegas might seem like an unlikely place to find Trollbeads inspiration, but that’s just where Cristi and I are heading today to attend the 2012 Trollbeads Academy!

At the all-day session we hope to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for this amazing product that we already love.  Along the way we’ll have a chance to get to know not only some of the members of the Danish Trollbeads family, but also lots of our fellow retailers from here in North America and around the world!  I’m sure we’ll come back informed, inspired, and energized to share what we’ve learned with our beloved trollies.

While we are gone the lovely Geneva will be caring for Tartooful on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Unfortunately we couldn’t find help for this afternoon, so our doors will be closed from two until six today – but we’ll be open regular hours all the other days.

Wish us “bon voyage”, and we’ll look forward to seeing all of you next week when we return!


Trollbeads Inspiration: Cristi’s West Coast Design for JR

When JR asked Cristi and I to try designing a couple of new compositions with her gorgeous collection, we couldn’t resist!  Today let’s take a peek at Cristi’s creation…

This design takes the soft blue greys of the West Coast as its inspiration.  This is a favorite palette for us at Tartooful; always fresh, always wearable.  The beginning point for this design is often “Silver Mountain”, and Cristi has placed this very pretty example of the bead in a prominent position, close to the middle of the bracelet.

A number of lovely retired patterns are scattered around the design, including “Chai Bud” shown at right nestled between current collection patterns “Black Silk” and “Snowflake Obsidian”.  Many of our Tartooful regulars will recognize this bead from Cristi’s own collection.  It was introduced in 2005 and retired in 2008.  I was so inspired by this particular portion of the bracelet that I immediately ordered the infrequently-seen “Snowflake Obsidian” for Tartooful… you can see it now on our display.

Another of JR’s rare retireds is “Glass Stone”, a ceramic inspired design that was part of the same 2005 collection as “Chai Bud”.  Its crackled texture is enhanced when placed here close to “Black Flower Mosaic”.  Cristi has highlighted the unusual, sangria toned dichroic glass set into the mosaic bead by echoing it with the tangerine glass featured in “Troll with big feet”.

Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Clasp”, “Silver stopper”, “Scarab”, “Conch”, “Grey Prism”, “Tower” (retired), “Grey Wolf” (retired), “Silver Mountain”, “The Eye Bead”, “Chalcedony” (retired), “Troll with big Feet”, “Glass Stone” (retired), “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Petanque” (retired), “Snowflake Obsidian”, “Chai Bud” (retired), “Black Silk”, “Scarab”, “Silver Stopper”

Altogether, a classic west coast design with moody blues, lots of texture and soft warm greys…. Thank you JR & Cristi!  Next up, it’s my turn to play…