Trollbeads Inspiration: Day to Day




Everyone needs a couple of “Day to Day” jewellery designs.  I have rings that are worn so often that they feel like part of my hands… a couple of necklaces that are daily apparel, and of course a few bracelets that are  particularly beloved and useful.  If you are a die hard Trollie, you immediately know which of your own designs fall into this category… it’s the bracelet that always travels with you… the one that just seems to go with everything… the one that perhaps you are wearing right now?


The appearance of that bracelet will of course vary according to your taste and needs, but for me it always seems to be some combination that features soft greys.

blog4So today, I decided to dive into the case of current bead stock and see what sort of “Day to Day” bracelet design I could play together.  I’m quite delighted with the result.  I started by combining two “Triple Pearl” beads, one an inky blue-grey and the other a perfectly clean white.  These are large-scale beads that combine both pearls and detailed silver hydrangeas for lots of drama, so they needed companions that could stand up to them.  I centred a silver “Big World” and framed it with a nicely marked “Dendritic Agate” and a stunning Sapphire.



I rounded out the silver component by adding the design siblings of “Spiritual Adornment” and “Spiritual Ornament”.  A handful of well-chosen and complex uniques help to complete the look.

I like to think that this is the sort of bracelet that one could reach for several times a week as we go into the warmer months… The substantial silvers, the beautiful stones, the fascinating uniques – it would never be humdrum.  Best of all, it would feel “just right” with everything from a little black dress to jeans and a white t-shirt.  C.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Dreamy


IMG_0700Today I once again went searching for a little colour inspiration in the beutifully illustrated pages of the Trollbeads book “Trollbeads: An Icon in Jewellery Design”.  Of course I found a great many images with wonderful palettes to consider, but in the meditative mood of the quiet gallery today I was attracted to one that

IMG_0704featured a patch of Black Mondo Grass.  The light surrounding the inky grasses is misty and blue in hue, a delicate palette into which I couldn’t wait to dive.

I started with a stunning “Blue Desert” that is a dark slate blue, with an area on one side that lightens to a subtly transparent claret.  The generous dose of glitter in this bead helps to further warm the overall look.


IMG_0705This is currently a tricky bead to partner, (although when the Autumn Collection launches it will find lots of beautiful companions), but I placed it opposite the “Flowers on Indigo” as it also has that delicious combination of deep sapphire and claret.

IMG_0698To ensure that the mood of the bracelet stayed light and airy I added multiple dots of white:  a “Denritic Agate” that is nearly pure white, one of the Summer Stones “Howlite”s, a couple of wonderfully shimmering “Dichroic Ice”, and of course a “Diamond Bead, White”.  The Two faceted “Chalcedony” further add to the light, glowing look of the design.


IMG_0703I love the way the light plays in this particular Azure Bubbles – it has taken me great restraint not to add it to my own personal collection!  I find it fascinating that in some lights I can see a clear layer of amber glass, yet when I look directly at the surface of the bead, it’s not green at all.  It’s a wonderful example of why I always Look at a bead sideways, and into the light….



Clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Clasp”, “Unique Glass”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Chelcedony”, “Silver Whorl”, Diamond Bead, White”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Howlite”, “Blue Desert”, “Dendritic Agate”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Chalcedony”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Angels Feathers”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Grey Prism”.

All beads used for design currently in stock at Tartooful. 604-924-0122.



30 Day Challenge: Day 20


IMG_9688Today I tackled a little project that I’ve been wanting to try for a while… Ever since one of our lovely ladies mentioned a bracelet idea involving massive tribal silvers and all ivory coloured glass, I’ve been wondering if I could create something in this vein from my own collection.  I don’t currently have much in the way of tribal silver beads, but working with what I already had, I have found that between my unique alabaster ambers, glass and silver I can create a full bracelet!

IMG_9696Thank you to Melanie for the Gift of this Centerpiece Bead

IMG_9690In this bracelet design there are a few colours still peeking through in the various dot beads… but perhaps over time I will be able to find more of the ivory glass or unique alabaster ambers so that I will be able to create a full, completely cream coloured design.  In the meanwhile, I am enjoying those touches of  colour.  For silvers I tried to pick “interesting” designs that held some intrigue for the eye.  Normally I prefer silvers that are calm and flow easily past the eye… but this relatively stark design felt to me as though it needed additional detail to catch the viewer’s gaze and slow down the process of taking in the bracelet.

IMG_9693Thank you to KT for the Gift of this Treasured Bead



Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Lock” (retired format), “Unique Glass”, “Sandi” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Tupilak” (retired), “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Neither Fish Nor Bird” (retired), “Light Blue Dot” (retired), “Linited Edition Trollbeads Day 2014″, Unique Amber”, “Brown Dot” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Limited Edition Two Trolls”, “Turquoise Dot” (retired), “Bead of Fortune”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Frogs” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Cells” (retired), “Grey Armadillo” (retired).


30 Day Challenge: Day 2


Today I thought I’d try working in a monochrome white palette… but as you can see I don’t quite have the hang of it!  I love love love my ivory coloured glass and ambers, and thought I *might* have enough of them for a whole bracelet… but I think the only way I can pull that off is with a whole lot of silver!  Perhaps another day I will explore that possibility, but today the softest of blush pinks crept onto the bracelet and I decided to let them stay.  (It was only polite, I wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings…)


Clockwise from clasp:  “Sterling Double Lobster Clasp – retired format”, “Small & beautiful Unique”, “Cells” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Heart”, “Unique Amber”, “Limited Edition Kimono Bead”, “Limited Edition Mountain Crystal” (Switzerland World Tour), “Zanzibar” (retired), “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Artisan Champagne Quartz”, “Unique Amber”, “Zanzibar” (retired), “Unique”, “Unique”, “Sparrow” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Pink Prism”, “Limited Edition Family of Mushrooms” (Lithuania World Tour), “Rosa Pearl”.


In this combination I’m delighted that the clean whites seem to pick up on a little of the pink tones, and blush just a little.  In contrast, the creamy alabaster ambers take on a buttery tone, and feel yellower than expected – in a good way!  Note to self:  make this bracelet again this Summer!

Do share your creations with us at or directly on facebook, we are itching to see what you have designed!



Trollbeads Inspiration: Lily of the Valley… and Cookie.


IMG_9480I’d like to transport you to my morning garden, where just a short time ago I went walking, camera in hand, in search of Trollbeads design inspiration.  It had rained overnight, so fat pearls of water dotted the leaves.  A glittering chandelier of raindrops hung precariously from the tree banches above and occasionally scattered to the ground when the

IMG_9475moved by a breath of air.  The comfortable perfume of warm cedar surrounded me, rising up from the mossy path with every step.  A banquet of potential images before me… but what to photograph to share on the blog this morning?  The blush of the Rhododendron?  The last velvety blooms of the Primula Auricula?


IMG_9462No… those aren’t quite right for today… Suddenly I spotted the first, perfect Lily of the Valley, blooming in pristine white on rich green foliage and was stopped in my tracks.  In some ways the lily of the valley is rather like a Trollbead… Best enjoyed in intimate quarters, the closer one looks the more one is rewarded.  It’s subtle perfume can only be enjoyed when very near, and its tiny blossoms are quite magical in their intricate detail.  Crouching down, I cradled my camera and focused… and THEN:


“Hello, furry one… ”

IMG_9465Meet Cookie.  Not what you’d call the brains of the operation, but very social, very gregarious and very soft.  She has limpid green eyes, absolutely excessively large whiskers and a determination to enjoy as much human attention as possible.  There was no way that a lousy flower was going to get more attention this morning than her.


IMG_9473Dodging and weaving around this single minded and surprisingly nimble cat, I managed to get one good shot of the flower, and quite a few of the cat.  (Surprising in her nimbleness because of an old war injury – note the carefully carried paw…)  I decided to pick my battles… go with the flow… and take this opportunity to shamelessly post the cat.

IMG_9478When I arrived at the gallery this morning to review the photos I found myself smiling at the laptop screen… the Cookie photos are such fun – and the one and only shot I ended up getting of the flower is just right for a bracelet design.  It took no time to play

IMG_9479together a crisp white and emerald green design from current Tartooful stock that feels to me like my walk in the garden this morning.  The two “World Tour Denmark Anemones” beads are a perfect colour match, and almost feel as though they glow from within.  I added a few touches of gold for the rays of sunlight, and a few glistening, transparent glass elements for water drops.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Golden Flower Lock” (retired form), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Glass”, “Limited Edition Christmas 2012”, “Unique Glass”, “Dandelions”, “Unique Glass”, “White Stripe”, “Strawberries”, “Limited Edition Anemones” (World tour Denmark), “Milky Quartz”, “Limited Edition Anemones” (World Tour Denmark”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “The Diamond Bead, White”, “Unique Glass”, “Zanzibar” (retired), “Limited Edition Christmas 2012”, “Unique Glass”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Green Prism”.

Really, the only thing that is missing… is the cat.

Don’t forget that Tartooful is now offering a special, Mothers Day gift with purchase of a Trollbeads Umbrella… but only while supplies last!


Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 3


IMG_5320This bracelet was so satisfying to build…

Last year when I tackled this project I really felt the lack of both neutral whites and  honey ambers.  There were so many compositions that I would have been able to improve upon with more of these beads at my fingertips!  So over the past year I have focused a little

IMG_5319bit on boosting these elements in my jewel box.  I didn’t exactly go looking for these beads – but once a bead is in my head they seem to just “show up”… and lots of lovely creamy white and golden ambers seem to have fallen onto my bracelets over the past year…. many thanks to Tartooful’s many generous trollfairies!

IMG_5317I am all about colour, so when building an all-neutral bracelet like this one I can’t help but insert subtle shades here and there.  This is quite possibly as “all white” as I can go!  The softest celadon hints are the unexpected touch that makes a bracelet like this sing for me.  Often ambers and other warm honey toned designs are relegated to the status of complementary tones, but here they take center stage as the primary colour element… and isn’t it fun to really see a range of colour of these lovely, natural beads?


Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp”, “Unique Amber”, “Cells” (retired), “White Steel”, “Deep Bubbles”, (retired), “Petanque” (retired), “Unique Small and Beautiful”, “Unique Amber”, “Grey Armadillo” (retired), “Jugend”, “Blue Desert”, “Ball of Yarn”, “Golden Quartz”, “Auspicious” (Hong Kong World Tour), “Unique Amber”, “Golden Cave”, “Brown Dot”, (retired) “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Mountain Crystal” (World Tour Switzerland), “Happy Fish” (retired), “Magical Lamp”, “Unique Amber”.




Trollbeads Inspiration: Willow


willow5This bracelet’s light as air palette makes me think of Willow trees in early Spring.  As the light returns to us in the North a soft haze of green steals across the grey strands of the trees branches, giving it the illusion of a verdant glow.  As I write this, the day outside is clear and brilliant, and not only the willows are aglow, but all the other trees

willow2as well.  In trying to capture this mood… of white Spring light and tentative green growth… I reached for an array of whites and soft, sage green and grey neutrals that are calm and lovely together.


willow6This limited edition, “Christmas in Australia” bead hails from a few years ago, but is in pristine condition and looks as fresh in design as the moment it was launched.  The celadon green and oxblood accents are idea for this composition, and the little black dots in the center of each flower give the bracelet a little punch.

willow7“Magical Lamp”, from the Spring 2014 collection is one of our favorite new designs, as it blends effortlessly with our West Coast slates, silvers and greys.  Here the aqua highlights and olive background are just right among the other sage greens, and the rose gold shimmer gives a nice warmth to the design.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “grey Prism”, “Unique”, “White Paper Fold”, “Snake”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “White Stripe”, “Labradorite”, “Three Siblings”, “Magical Lamp”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “Magical Lamp”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “Black Flower Mosaic”, “Spirit Light”, “Inner Glow”, “Three in One”, “Christmas in Australia Limited Edition”, “Cozy”, “Unique”.

willow4You may have noticed the delicious little tassels on the clasp of a number of our bracelets recently… these are made by Tartooful’s own Melanie, from high quality semiprecious stones and sterling wire.  They easily attach to the Trollbracelet, clasp, or any other jewelry chain you might want to enhance.  She just dropped off an amazing new selection of these sparkling treats, so if you are in the neighborhood, be sure to drop by and take a peek!



Trollbeads Inspiration: “Honey Dawn” and Friends.


Three days of continuous sunshine in Vancouver must have gone to my head, because just look what I was inspired to build today at the gallery…

honey-dawn2I began with this beautiful example of “Honey Dawn”… It’s an easy bead to love, with a buttery yellow heart, covered with layers of iridescent clear glass that shimmer in the light.  Little hits of pink, blue and green are subtly visible, and it changes dramatically with the light.  With this bead in the middle of the bracelet, I worked my way out,

honey-dawn3reaching for lots of warm whites and a few sweet yellows to be friends for the “Honey Dawn”.  Some of our favorite warm whites are shown here – “Conch”, with its generous texture and oyster undertone is always useful.  “Cozy” finds its way onto many Tartooful bracelet designs as its organic texture  is so compatible with natural

honey-dawn6stones and another of our favorite beads, “Silver Mountain”.  The “Diamond Bead, White” brings a hit of crisp white and huge sparkle to the design.  Normally this bead could be a scene stealer, but on this design the scattering of yellow keeps it from hogging the spotlight.  The different tones of white are brought together by another

honey-dawn10useful bead, “White Paper Fold”.  This design incorporates many different shades of white, from pure, crisp, icy white to ivory and even oyster.  The shadows cast by the inside structures create this fascinating array of tones, which allows this bead to blend different whites together into a cohesive palette.  Very useful.

honey-dawn11The new design, “Scirocco” ties the golden yellows and whites together perfectly, so it was a natural choice.  Next, to find some friends for the “Honey Dawn”… some new “Small and Beautiful” uniques arrived on Monday that turned out to be just the thing… This one at left is the colour of a rich custard, blended with cream.  Delicious.

honey-dawn4The other little one I added has a very subtle set of colours… definitely yellow, but a range of shades from very soft to quite deep – and then overlaid with a sea glass green top coat of clear glass.  The overall effect is unique and beautiful.   To help this little stunner blend in on the design I added two honeydew coloured, clear ambers that are of similar lemon-yellow tones.

honey-dawn9Simply Scrumptious.


Clockwise from clasp:  “freya Lock”, “Pearl”, “Unique Amber”, “Diamond Bead, White”, “Nomad”, “Unique”, “Spirit Light”, “Soft Heart”, “Cozy”, “Honey Dawn”, “Scirocco”, “Transformation”, “Conch”, “Unique”, “Whote Stripe”, “Soft Heart”, “Unique Amber”, “White Paper Fold”, “Flowers” (Retired), “Unique”, “Unique”, “Pearl”.



Trollbeads Inspiration: Pale & Pretty in Vogue


This gorgeous photo shoot in this month’s Vogue Magazine really needs no words… so soft, pretty and delicate, we found it exquisite and so inspiring.  We’ve paired it with the new golden bangle and the simplest of compositions – two “Blizzard” and a golden “Stay Positive”.  Isn’t it stunning?  I could wear this every day.


Celadon, white and gold…. a delicious new favorite colour combination!



Trollbeads Inspiration: Late Summer Whites

august-inspiration-morning-lightAugust 2013 Inspiration Bracelet by Trollbeads

oatmealHave you seem the simple and beautiful creation by Trollbeads for August 2013?  It’s a lovely reminder that sometimes less really is more… and feels just right as we try to enjoy the last few weeks of sunshine before we turn back towards the darker months of the year.

390848_10150458913427441_77268437440_8831290_1696409675_nSeeing how warm the “Cozy” bead feels in this months’ bracelet made me reach back through some of my photo files to find other white bracelets that we have admired… Often it’s the glint of gold that gives these compositions their shimmer, other times it’s a natural stone’s glow.


In the case of this unusual composition, a bold statement is made through the repetition of only two bead designs… “Chrystal Triangles” and the simple “White Pearl” alternate here creating a lovely rhythm of pattern, sparkle and shimmer.  Not many would have the discipline to resist all the other gorgeous Trollbeads bead designs and restrict oneself to just two patterns!

white-spirit-trinityscurveI certainly wouldn’t be able to… my bracelet would end up looking a bit more like the one here at right… softest greens and blues, a touch of gold and natural whites all blending to create a “white” bracelet that could be worn year round – well after labour Day!