Trollbeads Inspiration: Dear Yellow


IMG_8575Dear Yellow,

I get it.  I really do… and I’m just sorry that I didn’t see how amazing you were earlier in my time as a Trollbeads collector.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I haven’t fallen in love with the odd shade of yellow… (Remember that custard yellow baby nursery?  And then there was the short lived sunshine yellow kitchen?)

IMG_8574However, I think if I was honest I was just a little nervous of such a strong colour.  I do like my nice safe misty greys.  Not too long ago I came across an online photo of an incredible yellow bracelet.  It was Chinese Royal Yellow, and completely unapologetic about it.  None of this “Complementary colour”, “Blended in” nonsense… it was just pure, unadulterated and gorgeous… yellow.


IMG_8576What’s more, there was very little pattern on the beads themselves… no cute florals, animals, polka dots or stripes.  Very clean, modern and almost tribal in its aesthetic, it was powerfully beautiful.  It took my breath away, and made me begin to rethink yellow.  I’ve begun gathering big bold yellows and plan to place them together onto a bracelet design once I’ve found enough that I truly love.  Today I’m playing with a range of yellows that I found among Tartooful’s stock… including some surprising candidates, that I don’t usually think of as yellow… “Black Gold” in this case shows more gold than black… an extraordinarily light and bright “Luminous”, and even a “Blue Desert” that is really a “Yellow Desert”!


Clockwise from clasp:  “Freya Lock”, “Black Gold”, “Neverending”, “Silver Trace, Beige Blue” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Live Love & Forgive”, “Dewdrops”, “Unique”, “Heart Conch”, “Orange Steel” (retired), “Transformation”, “Lucky Clover”, “Flowers on Indigo”, “Unique”, “Path of Life”, “Luminous”, “Trefoil Knot”, “Third Eye Chakra”, “Unique Amber”, “Midgard Serpent”, “Unique Amber”, “Blue Desert”, “Lucky Knot”, “Unique Amber”.

So.  Sorry Yellow, I won’t underestimate your allure ever again….



Trollbeads Inspiration: Candy Heart


Happy Valentine’s Day!

IMG_8347I thought long and hard about what kind of bracelet to feature today, as our little Valentine’s treat to you… After all, there are so many fabulous design options for Valentines.  Hot pink and rich chestnut brown for raspberries and chocolate… Classic red, with gold, white, pink, black or even grey as an accent…. Pink and white… pink and gold… Diamond, heart or all sorts of “love” images…. really the choices are endless!

candy-heartsIn the end I decided to take a happy, joyful colour approach and take inspiration from classic Valentine’s candy hearts.

IMG_8348Tiny, sweet, with adorable messages and a quintessential Spring palette of purple, pink, white, green and orange… these little sugary treats only appear this time of year and are instantly recognizable icons of a childhood Valentine’s day.  They may not be sophisticated, but they are utterly charming.

IMG_8350In the newest waves of uniques to appear at Tartooful there have been so many very fun and fresh designs with lots of hearts, florals and just the right colours to built this sweet and flirty bracelet.  It’s packed with creamsicle orange hearts,  minty fresh flowers, buttercup yellow petals, pink polka dots and and plum perfect patterns.



IMG_8351In my bag of Troll Tricks this might be a bracelet that only came together for a few weeks over the Spring – but wouldn’t it be the perfect thing then?  I would rearrange all the beads for other times of the year and recycle them into Summer, Fall and Christmas compositions.  The Love themed silvers are easy to play with all year round!

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 4.53.13 PM

Clockwise from clasp:  “Cherry Blossom Lock, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Organic Hearts”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Unique”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Heart Conch”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Unique”, “Forget me not”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Heart”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Unique”, “Valentine’s 2015 Ltd Edition”, “Neverending”, “Unique”, “Unique”.

I hope you have all had a sweet and lovely Valentine’s Day!





Trollbeads Inspiration: Like Honey for the Eyes


IMG_8151I fell in love with a grouping of ooey gooey caramel sweet beads today… they were lit up in a shaft of sunshine, and cast little pools of golden light on the table.

IMG_8153Although there is a blend of amber, clear, metallic and even opaque glass,

somehow it all feels cohesive.  The repetition of the “Luminous” bead helps to give a pleasing rhythm to the design, and it’s so interesting to see the variation from one example to another.  With honey amber, cherry red glass, cinnamon sparkle and rich butterscotch, this is an utterly delicious bracelet!


IMG_8151I wanted the attention to stay on the gorgeous blend of golden colour, so I kept the silvers very bold yet simple.  The lovely new “Path of Life” and “Large Berry” balance each other on either side of the bracelet design, and a pair of “Giant Lotus” frame the central grouping of beads.

IMG_8163I have found these big beautiful silvers most useful on bracelets, for framing centerpiece beads.  If the beads are very large one can put even just one bead between the silvers.  In a case such as this, where the beads are a more standard size, I spread the silvers a little wider, so one doesn’t drown the focal point beads.  I always prefer to cradle very clear beads in the “Giant Lotus”, to allow the light to go in and reflect back out again in a wonderfully glowing sort of a way…


Clockwise from clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Luminous”, “Golden Cave”, “Large Berry”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique Glass”, “Golden Hemanite”, “Giant Lotus”, “Unique Amber”, “Luminous”, “Unique Amber”, “Luminous”, “Unique Amber”, “Giant Lotus”, “Goldstone” (retired), “Unique Glass”, “Unique Amber”, “Path of Life”, “Golden Cave”, “Luminous”.




Trollbeads News: Surprise, It’s a SALE!


It’s cold and grey out there… but here, sitting at the work table at Tartooful it’s bright, warm and cosy… If that’s not reason enough for you to drop by and have a play, Trollbeads has just announced a Surprise Sale!


All in stock rings, earrings and beads that are no longer in production are now 25% off

IMG_7913There are so many gorgeous treats just waiting to be snapped up… and after all, you’ve treated everyone else for the last month – maybe it’s time to indulge yourself just a little!  At these reduced prices, you can’t afford not to splurge.  These lovelies will work so beautifully going into the fresh new season – playing perfectly with the Spring

IMG_7911Series which will be shipping soon, as well as the upcoming limited Edition Valentine’s collection!

For those ladies who are sadly too far away to drop by and play – or for those of you who like to shop from the comfort of home… You’ll find all the newest designs, as well as our generously stocked SALE section in our online shop, Tartoofultoo.  Shop early for best selection!


Clockwise from clasp:  “Lace Lock”, “Unique”, “Rose”, “Unique”, “Forget-me-not”, “Unique”, “Chrysanthemum of November”, “Unique”, “Grandma’s Favorite”, “Unique”, “Narcissus of December”, “Unique”, “Snowdrop of January”, “Unique”, “Mom’s Bouquet”, “Unique”.

Hope to see you in the Village soon!



Trollbeads Design Challenge: Day 22

IMG_5939Embrace the Orange

IMG_5940A few recent conversations with our talented customers have opened my eyes to the potential offered by orange.  I have always found it a little harder to work with the brightest colours, likely due to my preference for the subtle misty blues, lavenders and apricots that populate my personal collection and usually appear in my compositions.


IMG_5942However, in recent weeks I have encountered a number of brilliantly toned designs that have schooled me in the allure of orange and yellow.  First I came across a saffron yellow bracelet that was unabashedly royal

IMG_5937in its approach.  I loved that it didn’t reference buttercups and daffodils, but rather the imperial yellow of the historical Chinese court.  Next one of our clients who very closely shares my taste in colour sent me an inspiring image of her coral toned bracelet.  Altogether, it was time for me to dive into my collection and see what orange possibilities it contained.

IMG_5938I was pleasantly surprised to find enough beads in my own bead bag to create an entire bracelet in this colour family.  Once again, those golden ambers came to the rescue, playing nicely with this palette and filling out the design.  The key bead that sets the tone for the entire design, however, is the orange armadillo at the heart of the composition.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Basic Double Lobster Clasp”, “Red Pink Prism” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Golden Cave”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Jugend”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique”, “Tigers Eye”, “Shortcut”, “Golden Quartz”, “Orange Armadillo” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Spot” (retired), “Ruby”, “Unique”, “Brown Desert” (retired), “Silver Bead with Garnets” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Unique”, “Pink Desert”, “Unique Amber”.



Trollbeads Challenge: Day 6


Today I felt like a feminine, pretty composition, and happily played together a rose and gold design.


IMG_5306A large part of this bracelet’s inspiration comes from the “Golden Quartz” above… It was one of those beads that I had admired for ages but never quite got round to acquiring.  I had promised to add a few more golden yellows to my collection after the last challenge, so I finally chose one for myself a couple of months ago.

IMG_5309“Pink Desert”, with its rose pink and rich gold sparkle, makes it easy to pull together a pink and gold design.  My example is a little paler, but the Pink Deserts that have been coming though our stock this Spring have been spectacular.  If this is a bead that you’ve been mulling it’s a good time to go looking!  I love this little combination

IMG_5308of the apricot and butter yellow unique, “Pink Desert” and a limited edition, Russian Pink, mini amber at the end…  I like it opposite the “Rosa Pearl” as they are both so warm and golden, and well matched in shape as well.  The matte, Japanese glass of the apricot toned “Kimono Bead” nicely echoes the warm Rosa Pearl.


“Basic Double Lobster Clasp”, “Bee on Hive” (retired), “Unique Amber”, “Pink Desert”, “Unique”, “Etruscan” (retired), “Custom Made Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Rosa Quartz”, “Heart”, “Golden Quartz”, “Unique”, “Golden Cave”, “Pentanque” (retired), “Limited Edition Kimono Series”, “Unique Amber”, “Rosa Pearl”, “Bee on Hive” (retired).

IMG_5311Finally, a closer peek at the unique armadillo created for me at last Autumn’s Custom bead event at Tartooful by Georgina Black of Trollbeads Canada.  For the ladies who participated in the Spring event, we are expecting your custom treasures this week!  Stay tuned and we’ll let you know as soon as we see them… (We can’t wait!)









Trollbeads Inspiration: Honeycomb


honey7When I was little I remember going on a shopping trip to one of the food markets in Ulus, Ankara’s old town.  The steep, winding streets that follow the curve of the ancient hill are lined with different types of wares depending on the area.  In one it might might be mostly traditional copper wares, with men sitting

honey2outside, repairing and tinning copper vessels for a new lifespan.  On another block it might be mostly spices mounded high in bins.  Brightly coloured clothing, plastic household goods, carpets that are rolled and are fragrantly woolly… it’s all there in Ulus, you just have to know which street to wander down.

honey4This was not only on the other side of the world, but in another century… so I am a little fuzzy on the details of this particular Ulus adventure.  However, I do remember stepping away from my mother in an area filled with beautiful pyramids of fruit under sunlit umbrellas.  I knew just where she was, and wasn’t worried at all.

honey9Looking back on the incident with the clarity of years, I think she thought she had lost me, and when I reappeared she was exceptionally happy to see me again.  She didn’t scold me, at all… but in her relief she did let me pick out a piece of honeyfilled, waxy honeycomb from the jar she had just bought.  I must have been very sticky as I happily extracted all the honey from the soft beeswax, but she didn’t mind a bit.


Isn’t it funny the moments that stick in our memory?  It’s impossible to predict what minute incident will simply engrave itself and be there forever.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Troll Tree Lock”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Happy Fish”, “Honey Dawn”, “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Mocha”, “Dew Drops”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Drifting Seeds”, “Harmony”, “Unique Amber”, “Unique”, “Unique Amber”, “Kaleidoscope”, “Unique Amber”, “Scirocco”, “Unique”.



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: Spring Safari


safari5With the new wave of uniques came a handful of sunshine coloured beads that inspired me to design a fresh and wearable new Safari bracelet.  I immediately saw classic leopard print in the crisp spots of this little yellow and black design, and imagined them sharing space on a bracelet with some of Kathy Perras’ Siberian Tigers…


safari3I wanted lots of crisp black to give snap to the palette, so I reached for the new faceted “Sahara Night”, the “Diamond Bead, black”, and the “Black Armadillo”.  The newly retired “Eye Bead” is graphically punchy and echoes the dots of the uniques.  A “Black Silk” with lovely bronze iridescence nicely balances a “Smoky Quartz”.

safari4The honey tones of the bracelet are just as important.  I couldn’t resist this lovely, caramel coloured butterfly.  We’ve been playing with this bead and it’s gorgeous with ambers, so warm and organic.  Two warmly striped new uniques continue the bronzed caramel palette, and a maple syrup coloured amber glows

safari6opposite this super sparkly, bronze “Magic Carpet” patterned unique.  The greenish undertone and little red dots on this classic core unique offer a little emphasis at each junction, and make it tie in even more perfectly with its neighbour on this bracelet design.  Note how it picks up the same colours of olive and flame red at left…



safari8Finally, a pair of crisply patterned, black and white classic core uniques from the new series help to finish the bracelet design at the lock with emphasis.  This bold yet tapered note on either side of the lock is a satisfying and balanced gesture that pleases the eye when the clasp turns to the back of the wrist while being worn.


Clockwise from clasp:  “Troll Tree Lock”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Three in One”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Black Armadillo”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Smiling Cylinder”, “Smoky Quartz”, “Kathy Perras Artisan Bead”, “Diamond Bead, Black”, “Three Siblings”, “Sahara Night Facet”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Black Silk”, “Transformation”, “Classic Core Unique”, “The Eye Bead”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Snake”, “Unique Amber”, “Classic Core Unique”.







Trollbeads Inspiration: Crocus


new-4Despite several days of steady snow here in Vancouver, the flowers are stubbornly pressing on towards Spring.  Earlier in the winter a cold snap sent all the leaves into retreat, but this late in the winter the plants simply won’t be discouraged.  Everywhere I look, peeking through the snow are little green shoots that are defying the weather

new5and just growing anyhow!  One of the cheeriest plants of early spring is the crocus… they come in waves of colour, with different varieties blooming at slightly different times.   Generally speaking the smaller and simpler the blossom, the more likely the plant is to bloom on the early side, and to naturalize easily in the garden.


new3The larger blossoms are usually hybrids that bloom a little later.  (It takes longer to finish making the big flowers!)   There’s even a warm lilac one, Crocus Sativus that blooms in the Autumn, and gives us delicately delicious Saffron.  When I moved into one of my past gardens I had forgotten completely about this variety.

new6All Spring and Summer I couldn’t imagine what these lush tufts of green, swordlike leaves were, and why they didn’t set any kind of bloom.  Finally, the first Autumn the leaves died down and the cool pink blossoms burst forth, solving the mystery with panache.  The flowers truly do crash out of the earth, practically overnight.

new7A perennial grown from corms, Crocus come in all the colours of this bracelet- from creamy, buttery tones to rich yolk yellows and all sorts of purples… and they are such a delight – so I thought I’d name today’s bracelet for them to give me an excuse to chat about them here.  If you’ve missed the chance to plant ahead, pick up a pot in bloom and just pop them in the garden after they finish blooming.  They’ll come back and happily bloom for you again next year.


Today’s bracelet is made up entirely from Tartooful current stock, and all the uniques are now individually photographed in our online shop, Tartoofultoo.  (Don’t miss our very last Glowing Pansy!).  I’ll be adding more items over the next couple of days, so do stay tuned.


Clockwise from Clasp:  “Swan Lock”, “Classic Core Unique”, “White Petals”, “Ladybug”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Blue Desert”, “Mothers Bouquet”, “Amber Flowers”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Limited Edition Glowing Pansy”, “Flowers” (retired), “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Classic Core Unique”, “Sakura”, “Limited Edition Armadillo”, “Purple Prism”.