Eeeek! It doesn't look like I'm going to have this finished for January. Hopefully it won't bleed too much into February, as I have another big project planned and I don't want that to bleed into March because I have another really big project for March. Oh boy.
Last time I updated about the wall hanging I'm working on, it looked like this:
Since then I have put in a lot of work. The diamond frame was just there to help me visualize. I don't think they sell pre-made oval frames, and that's what I wanted, so I'm making one.
One of the things I've done is start the frame. I only have the back piece made so far, and I have several more pieces which will take me several more days to complete. It's a complex thing. So, after a few days I had this:
I chose to stagger the flowers a bit, just to be interesting. I made a large blue butterfly. I had this yellow rose garland that I was working on to help dress it up a bit and add in some color. Something about the garland was bothering me though, and I couldn't put my finger on it. I asked my Facebook followers to take a look for me and give their opinions. They all like the garland. But, I dunno. Something is still bothering me about it. I tried remaking the leaves in a darker green, but it still just doesn't sit right. I think it distracts from the Callas too much, maybe? I don't know, but I did end up deciding to leave them off. :( Sorry, guys.
But then, it was back to being plain and boring. So... I figured I'd just dress up the frame a bit! Originally it was just going to be rather plain, with three or four rows of beaded ovals all wired together.
Last night I made 24 of these:
It was quite a task to make them all the same size. They still aren't exactly the same size, but I'm not a machine. I'm just a person with basic tools and some wire wrapping skills. But I really like them. :) I'll have to file down the ends a little bit. I also cut out a section of the frame and made it a bit smaller so it would fit more closely around the flowers.
So, here's what I have for the frame so far. This is not complete. Not at all. The oval I have here is just the section that's going against the wall, with a built in loop for hanging. I want the decorative part of the frame to stick out a bit, so it won't be against the wall. I also have to add in these support wires to wire the flowers to and help the frame keep shape a bit better. These support armatures will be soldered to another oval the same size as the one I already have, and the ends of that oval will be soldered together as well. Then I'll be wiring that oval with the support wires to the bottom one. That's the support structure of my wall hanging. The decorative frame will be going on top of that. I'm thinking I'm going to make three more ovals wrapped with beads, and these swirls will be wired in between the 2nd and 3rd ones.
So the swirls are in the wrong place, but I put them here for now to get a feel for the piece. :)
I've also finished all my leaves. So, here is what I have now:
I really like it! Woohoooo! If I start getting ambitious, I might add in another butterfly, a smaller one in peach or some other soft, pastel color.
On a side note, I did business taxes for the first time a few days ago. It was insane. I really need to keep better books. But I think now that I know what to keep track of and all the different categories I need to separate purchases into, it will be much easier for me. Yay for learning!
First off, if you haven't seen it yet, I'm running my first Giveaway! Up for grabs is a $25 Gift Certificate for one of my online shops. Visit the Giveaway blog post for details on how to enter!
I'm trying to promote it as much as possible to make sure everyone sees it and to maximize participation. It's my first Giveaway, and I don't have any idea how many people to expect. If there are a large number of entries, then next time I'll probably have more than one prize.
Okay, time for my big project update. Whenever I see some magnificent work of art, I always wonder about the background work that the artisan went through to create it. It's such a complex process and it fascinates me. Posting about it helps me to collect my thoughts as well, and sometimes my brain thinks of a new idea or a fix as I type it all out. There's generally a great deal of information, so I can't really post it all in one post as it would end up being one mother of a post, and I'd probably forget details by the end. So I hope you guys don't mind the frequent posts.
Last time I posted about it, I had just finished the three Calla stems that will be the focal of the piece.
Since then I've been making leaves. I found a frame I can use to help me have a visual of a border, just keep in mine that I will be building my own frame, and it's going to be an oval, not a diamond as shown. I thought about using the diamond one, but I think I'm going to prefer an oval with the Calla Lilies' shape.
I've still got a few leaves to make, though how many will depend on the final size of the frame I make. I want to fill up the space without adding too much weight, and without overwhelming the Calla's in green.
Once I got this far I started feeling a little dismayed. There's an awful lot of green already. And the white lilies aren't very bright in contrast. And the frame will be black. My brain has been bouncing around with ideas trying to figure out a good fix that won't extend my hopeful deadline too much. I really wanted to have this done by February so I could move onto the next project that I really want to make. But I also want to do this right. It's a frustrating predicament.
While I was thinking this through, I took a little break and tried out a few new designs. Continuing along with my Calla Lily theme, the first thing I tried was a wrap-around cuff bracelet.
As you can see I stopped wrapping the stem half way through because I realized that it didn't work very well. I still like the design concept, just not the type of flower I used. I don't think the shape of a Calla works well with it. I can't really make the flower smaller, or the stem would look too thick in comparison. And the Calla just rises so far off the wrist that I think it would be bothersome. So I'm just going to try a wrap around beaded cuff later with a different type of flower.
Then last night I had a really good idea for a bridal hair comb, and I figured I should get it out of my head. The Brides, they are a-shoppin, so this is a good time for it. Plus, I had a goal to list at least one new item every week, and I haven't done that yet this week. So watch for this little beauty going up in the next few days.
It's not a Calla Lily, though my head is still trying to figure out a good arrangement for a trio of Callas on a comb. But, this design did help me to think of a possible fix for my wall hanging, as you'll see in a minute.
Back to the wall hanging: One thought I've been toying with is to take out the long, dark green leaves in the background (save them for another project), and just use the lighter Calla Lily leaves to fill in the empty spaces. That way I can have the lush greenery that's expected with flowers, without all the background clutter.
But then it might end up looking too plain, without enough shape or size variation. My frame isn't going to be anything super special. This is the first time I've attempted to make a frame from scratch, so I'm wanting to keep it simple. Basically, there will be the support frame with an built in hanging loop. Attached to that will be the outer, decorative frame, which is just going to be a set of three ovals wrapped with black beads and (somehow?) wired together. So it's pretty plain too.
So, in order to combat the "plainness" issue, I'm going to try out a little something to embellish a bit. Here's where my previous hair comb comes into play. The leaf sprigs I made to accent the peach flower in the comb reminded me of a rose bush, and I thought... why not make a little mini flower garland to go along the bottom of the inside of the frame. I might make another one for the top too, just to balance it out.
So, I've made up a set of my mini roses to make the garland(s) with. Not sure if this is the fix I'm looking for, but it's worth a shot.
I also thought that I could possibly make a french beaded butterfly to flutter amongst the flowers. But, I have a hard time making butterflies that look real enough and not like something in a little girl's imagination. I'll play with it a bit, though, and see if I can come up with something a little better.
It looks like I'm going to need to start making my frame before I can go much further. Then I'll know how plain it really looks, how many Calla leaves I need to make to fill it in well, and whether or not the yellow roses will look good beside it. I've got a ways to go yet, but I'm still really excited about it! I can't wait to see it finished!
Hello everyone! I am Lauren Harpster, the designer behind Lauren's Creations. I am a 28 year old wife, and a mother to three adorable little kids. I've been making French Beaded Flowers for six years now, and teaching French Beading through my website for about four years. I hope you'll join me on my blog so you, too, can Learn the Art of French Beading.
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