Trollbeads Inspiration: Fading Hydrangeas

photo-6 copyThe Grand Dames of the Fall Garden in Vancouver

IMG_6950Some flowers just seem to have the gift of aging gracefully.  They don’t stay eerily frozen time throughout their life span, but as time passes their metamophosis is beautiful in its own way.  One example of this may be found in our local hydrangeas, which are still heavy with now-fading blooms.


IMG_6944In many cases the clusters of these showstopping flowers are the size of soccer balls – one family friend for many years lovingly tended his incredible white flowers each August, carefully supporting each massive blossom with stilt-like, delicate bamboo stakes.  The local hydrangeas can be found in a huge range of colour, from pure white, to

IMG_6951sky blue, sugary pink,  lilac, deep pink and even palest green.  When they first emerge their colours are clean and bright, and perfect in a youthful sort of a way.  As the blooms fade in the sun and gently age, they become tinged with complementary colours.  The white becomes more transparent and ivory – like vellum.

IMG_6948Sky blue petals darken imperfectly to violet, the sweet pink is iced with olive green, and the deep pink clouds over to a fascinating and rich shade of cranberry.  I would be hard pressed to find a favorite colour of these gorgeous plants…


However, if I really had to pick,  the pale green do offer an unexpectedly lovely surprise, as they slowly, charmingly, become blushed with lilac and apricot.

IMG_6954At Summer’s end the garden feels chaotic, filled with battered blooms that tip at erratic angles.  Every day I pop out into the garden to see what plants need to be trimmed back, tied up or hauled out altogether.  The hostas are particularly sad, as the glorious leaves that gave structure to the Summer beds are now riddled with holes and slowly disappearing back into the ground.  In the midst of all the withering leaves and browning petals it’s such a joy to encounter a flush of hydrangea blossoms, gracefully weathering the change.

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Clockwise from clasp:  “Lace Lock”, “Unique”, “Unique”, “Tears of Shiva”, “Antique Flower”, “Blue Desert”, “Labradorite”, “Spiritual Adornment”, “Unique”, “Ruby Rock’, “Pastel Flower”, “Spiritual Ornament”, “Purple Flower Mosaic”, “Inner Glow”, White Petals”, “Dandelion”, “Organic Bubble”, “Unique”.




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”.