Sapphire Night: A Sparkling New Year


photo 1What a spectacular year 2014 has been for collectors of Trollbeads…

The golden shimmer of the Spring Collection quickly became must-haves, gracing nearly every bracelet we create.  It’s hard to imagine how we got by without designs like “Scirocco”, “Magical Lamp” and “Ancient Palace”!

Next we were charmed by the delicate hues of Trollbeads’ emeralds.  These subtle beauties are just the right shade of green to enhance all our favorite beach glass compositions, and the pretty cherry blossoms that accompanied them were a gorgeous addition to our Spring Trollbeads wardrobe.


Over the Summer we loved to play with the new pendants for our necklaces, and adored the Limited editions that raced through the shop as quickly as the warm months… we were particularly drawn to the inky blues of the “Coolness” series, and it has proven to be most useful as the cooler months set in.  For Autumn Trollbeads gave us a very strong collection with rich colour and pattern, as well as fascinating motifs that were inspired by the aesthetics of Eastern Mysticism.  Classic silvers such as “Ganesha”, the stunning “Large Lotus”, and the humble but oh-so-useful “Lotus Top” are among our newest favorites.  I particularly love the pair of silvers shown above:  “Spiritual Adornment” and “Spiritual Ornament” display the art of the Trollbeads designers and silversmiths.

photo 2

Finally, for Christmas Trollbeads treated us to a host of new designs, including a new “Bow Lock”, some prettily romantic hearts, dramatic drop earrings, two limited edition kits of Christmas glass and of course – delicious gold!

photo 5

clockwise from clasp:  “Large Flower Lock”, “Christmas Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Christmas Unique”, “Blossom Bead”, “Unique”, “Crown Chakra”, “Moon Ocean”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Diamond Bead with Gold Core”, “Sapphire”, “Silver Gold Trace”, “Spiritual Adornment” “Moon Ocean”, “Crown Chakra”, “Unique”, “Angel Feathers”,  “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique”.

All those lovely treats through the year…  and I haven’t even mentioned the incredible array of unique glass designs that amazed and delighted us throughout the year.  This truly has been the “year of the unique”, with phenomenal diversity and quality of unique glass designs.  We simply can’t wait to see the new Spring series for 2015, as it promises to be simply beautiful.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make 2014 an inspiring, beautiful and fun year at Tartooful… we wish you the loveliest of New Years, filled with love, health and joy.


Trollbeads Inspiration: Spiced Amber


amber-close1With Autumn closing in quickly… the warm sunny days fading to cool & grey – we are finally facing the reality that Winter really is coming.  In fact, there is a snow warning out for Vancouver for the coming weekend, which should really throw us all for a loop, as Vancouverites are always completely

amber-close-purpleunprepared for any amount of snowfall.  I may not have salt in my shed, or have any idea where to look for my snow shovel… but most importantly I have made up a nice warm and spicy amber bracelet, just right

amber-close2for the snowy season about to arrive.  The truth is that Vancouver really only has to deal with snow a couple of times each Winter, so even the municipalities are a little laid back about making expensive preparations for those few days of the year.  The result is streets that remain unplowed, traffic chaos for those fools who rush out anyhow, and tons

amber-staypositiveof people just take the day off.  It’s sort of like when you were back in school – snowflakes means an impromptu “Snow Day” where everyone claims to be working from home.  But in fact we’re out rolling around in a scant inch of damp snow with the dog and our kids.  With so many hills – North Vancouver is on the side of a mountain range –

amber-close-mountainflowerIt doesn’t take much slush on the ground to create a traffic nightmare.  No worries here… I can walk up to the gallery and will keep warm with this amber and gold confection.

In this bracelet we combined caramel tones with beautiful ambers and glittering touches of gold.


amberscurve2Think “spiced apple cider” or mulled wine”… We found some lovely uniques that help to give a little depth to the design, as they incorporate not only some rich glitter accents, but also some nice deep purply blacks.  It’s the time of year for dramatic jewellery, so

amber-close-lockwithtasselwe’ve pulled out all the stops on gold, and even added a limited edition Christmas tassel to the golden flower lock.  I like to add these tassels to the small side of a decorative lock, layered on before the bracelet chain.  This keeps the tassel neatly in one spot, and adds interest to the clasp which often lays on the top of the wrist.


Get cosy… We’ve popped all these ambers and uniques into our online shop so that you can enjoy browsing them even if you’re snowed in!




Trollbeads Inspiration: “Winters Gift”

winter's gift

We woke up to snow on the North Shore this morning!

Our quiet side street is a skating rink, and the cats are disdainfully refusing to step out the door… but the delicate lace trim of snow on the trees is shivery-beautiful, and so inspiring…

It brings to mind a gorgeous piece of original art by Anne Griffiths that we have in the gallery at the moment.  “Winter’s Gift” is a rich, highly textured oil on canvas, and perfectly suits my snowy coast mood.


Reaching for the play tray, it only took a few minutes to mirror that snowy feel in a bracelet composition.  “Snow”, “Cream Armadillo”, “Faceted Chalcedony and “Dichroic Ice” gleam in the foreground of the above photo.

DSCN5332Simply tossing a group of white beads on a bracelet doesn’t really express the feel of a day like today.  The translucent inky grey ice underfoot, the frozen and brittle twigs and leaves along the paths, the snow gathering at every crevice and nook of rocks, branches and chilly garden fronds…. The ice and snow are made of countless colours.

DSCN5334Yes… there is white and blue.  But also grey, mossy green and shimmering silver.  The snow doesn’t have full dominion in our wooded nook, and everywhere there are dark twigs peeking through, lichens warm the underside of rocks, and rich moss carpets the sides of trees.

DSCN5331It’s on days like today that “Silver Mountain” truly is the North Vancouver bead.  With it’s silver, olive green, ivory and beach glass blue, it’s the most perfect expression of our unique part of the world.  We added a “Snowflake Obsidian” for its fabulous texture.

DSCN5338The loyal Saint Bernard dog makes the perfect companion for a snowy adventure.  This quirky and utterly charming  silver bead is one of the Switzerland World Tour Series that we had access to  during the Summer of 2012.


On this design, the “Cream Armadillo” offers a welcome rest for the eye, with its soft expanse of ivory calm.  The Christmas 2012 Limited Edition included this fascinating and apropos greyed-ivory bead with metallic bronze dots.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Dichroic Flower Clasp”, “Christmas 2012 Limited Edition”, “White Paper Fold”, “Plait”, “White Steel”, “Baby Boy”, “Diamond Bead, Black”, “Sweater”, “Silver Mountain”, “St Bernard – Switzerland World Tour”, “Snowflake Obsidian”, “Faceted Chalcedony”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Snow”, “Cream Armadillo”, “Christmas 2012 Limited Edition”.

Stay warm…



Trollbeads Inspiration: CN’s collection part II

Today we’ll take a peek at the second part of the the remarkable collection of CN.

Isn’t this palette delicate and pretty?  Soft, buttery yellows and periwinkle blue feel like a warm, gentle Summer day.  So many of my favorite beads have found their way onto this design:  “Blue Desert”, “Azure Bubbles”, “Carved Flowers”, “Jugend”, “Chalcedony”, “Endless” and “Beige Bubble”… it’s a dream bracelet!

CN’s “Blue Desert” is a particularly lovely example of this very changeable design… very light, with lots of gold sparkle and a hint of green, yellow and even lilac.  Just like the “Cool Dusk” and the “Azure Bubbles’, it helps to further tie the pale blue and yellow palette together… “Waves” and “Conch” add a couple of additional warm weather notes… truly, it feels like the “Endless Summer” bracelet.

Imagine how much discipline it must take to keep her all-white bracelet so pure in it’s design.  I’m sure I would have caved to temptation and added a silver mountain or two – but isn’t wonderful that she hasn’t – it’s stunning, simple and perfect.

You’ll spot two rare beads in this composition:  a pair of icy, Switzerland World Tour “Rock Crystals”.  She has centered a “Winter” dangle on the bracelet, and then balanced pairs of the “Diamond Bead, white”, “Milky Quartz”, “White Stripe”, and “Rock Crystal”.  The composition is centered with a pair of stoppers, so it always stays in place.

Finally… her most recent creation:

Perfect for Autumn, this leather and amber design is warm and casual yet sophisticated.  CN has assembled an array of golden toned ambers of all different shapes, sizes and textures.  Don’t miss the gorgeous one at left – with all the glittering inclusions and the cool, boxy shape… She added a “Tigers Eye” and a “Golden Quartz” for additional interest.   An inspired touch is the addition of “Wildcat” and “Organic Bubble”, which each contain a hint of teal, offering a beautiful, complementary note.

Thank you to CN for sharing her lovely creations with the readers of the blog…


PS. TWO SLEEPS! So exciting.


Trollbeads inspiration: sunlit ice

Cool Sunshine

Vancouver finds itself in the midst of one of its trademark winter cold snaps… the sky is blindingly blue, the green grass, caught in the act of preparing for Spring, is frozen into tiny steel blades, and our snow capped mountains are reflected perfectly in our glass calm bay.  This bracelet is inspired by the sunlit ice of that sort of winters’ day.

Included on this bracelet are:  (from top)  “White Pearl”, “Rouse Quartz, round”, “Beige Bubbles”, “Lucky Knot”, “Dichroic Ice”, “Chalcedony”, “Rose Quartz”, “Beige Blue Dot”, “Sandi”, “Pink Gold’, “Pink Quartz”, “Pearl Lock”.


Golden Trollbeads Inspiration

Isn’t this gorgeous?!  I’m having red cravings these days, probably due to the cold dark days of Winter… so I decided to play and try out some of the warmest, most glowing beads I could imagine.

Shown above:  the “Mexico lock, gold”, “Red Feather”, “Three Stars”, “Endless, gold”, “Red Prism”, “Yes! Bead”, “Root Chakra”, “Stars”, “Yellow Prism”, “Heart, Gold”, “Pumpkin”, “Sun Bead”, and “Bright Red Prism”.

The golden beads add warmth and glow to the bracelet, but the variety of reds gives it life… I love the contrast of the light and dark reds, the persimmon tone of “Pumpkin”, the cerise of “Red Feather” and the pomegranate-juiciness of “Red Prism”.

Just the thing for the coldest days of the year…