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 Inspiration… In With the New


new3A beautiful new wave of uniques arrived at Tartooful today, and my goodness they are breathtaking.  I quickly made up a selection of subtle blues, using my own silvers just to show off the array of patterns and colours that Trollbeads’ talented artisans have created for us.  Here you’ll find delicate wisps of glittering glass, shimmering

new11bubbles, and impossibly sparkly cores peeking through complex swirls.  These are beads for the detail oriented.  They are petite, the same scale as the small and beautiful series from last year.  I have read some criticism of the series for that reason, but I personally disagree.  The production beads are for the most part of generous

new6proportions, so if large beads are desired they are certainly available, in abundance.  I think it’s wonderful to have a range of sizes to choose from.  In addition, having tried my hand at making lampwork beads myself, I know how very difficult it is to make tiny, detailed beads like these.  Large beads are much more forgiving, with

new5 lots of space and time to correct little issues.  Tiny ones with so much detailed pattern are a tour de force of skill that leaves me awestruck at the talent of the Trollbeads glass artisans.  To me, the petite scale of these beads is a big part of what makes them so very special.  Of course, the sheer beauty of them is very compelling, too….


new12I will certainly be succumbing to one or two of these beauties for my own collection… the wispy spirographs are particularly tempting, with their subtle shade of blue, translucent glow, and rich sparkle among the strands of glass.  They are truly magical.  I can easily imagine using these to finish the ends of a bracelet, or possibly to

new10frame a Fantasy necklace composition that has been shortened to choker length.  I’m also thinking ahead to my daughters’ birthdays, as the small scale of these beads would suit their little bracelets perfectly.  (… and they fell in love with them at first sight!).  I was a little surprised when I began to see this series emerging in Europe, that they were only

new7available in groups of three, at $60 per bead.  We have opted to split up our kits so that our collectors may choose just the right bead, and we are charging only the usual price of CAD$45 per unique. 


These little beauties are so newly arrived in the gallery that we have not had a chance in individually photograph them and put them into our online shop.  If you are interested in one of the beads you see here, or are looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at, or ring the gallery at 604.924.0122 and we’d be delighted to hear from you.


All beads classic core uniques from Tartooful’s stock.

All silvers from Cathy’s personal collection.