This is my last post about these roses, I promise. I just wanted to share the pictures of the finished bouquet.
I was commissioned to make a set of 6 roses, 2 pink, 2 red, and 2 white.
I will have these available to order through both Zibbet and Etsy. I'll try to have the listings up by the end of the day, but my shops will be on vacation starting Monday (the 23rd) so my family can celebrate Christmas, though I will still be able to answer any questions. We will be home on the 28th!
I think I like the pink ones the best. :)
You can also look forward to seeing some lovely wedding bouquets, which I will be putting together early next year. I have a few different ideas and I'm equally excited about each of them.
Just thought I would drop by and quickly try to update you on the progress I've made with my custom order of roses.
My bead shipment finally arrived! Yay! It was a most joyous occasion and I did actually dance a jig while holding my little box of goodies.
So I made some red petals. I want one of each color so I can have pictures. After Christmas these roses will be available for custom order through Zibbet and Etsy.
In case anyone has wondered what "lacing" is, I thought I'd include a close-up of one of the petals. This is the backside, the side you don't see. I try to match the lacing wire as closely to the petals as possible so it won't be very visible.
This is an unlaced petal. See how all the rows are askewed? That's why lacing is necessary. It keeps your petals flat and holds everything together so when you curl the petals, there won't be any weird holes.
So now I have two roses and I need four more, and I have to be finished with them on Saturday so my customer can pick them up on Sunday. I do have a set of pink petals ready for lacing and assembly. Hopefully I'll be able to at least have them laced by the end of the day.
Today is my husband's last day of work before he's off for the holiday. Thursday he'll be gone ALL day, but he will be home Friday and Saturday, so he'll be here to watch the kids so I can get a bunch of work done those days. Hopefully by then I'll only need three more, which won't be a problem to finish since I will have two full days to play... I mean work. :)
Just to give you a breakdown of the time it takes to make one rose -
It takes me about 1.5 hours to make all the petals, another 1-1.5 to lace them all. And then 1/2-1 hour to assemble. 3-5 hours per rose. Back when I was first starting out, it took much longer.
Can't wait to make a full wedding bouquet out of these beauties!
While I'm waiting for my beads to arrive (hopefully Monday!) I've been working on some Christmas presents for some family members. They're going out a little later than I'd like, :S but they should still be there in time for Christmas.
I'm not going to post all the ones I'm working on, as some of the people they're intended for may be watching.
First up is this little headband for one of my nieces. It's a metal headband that I wrapped with this coral-y pink ribbon I found, and one of my beaded flowers in pink and dark grey with a smoke-colored Swarovski Crystal center. I plan on making up some more of these, as well as some elastic ones, meant for little girls. :)
I've also been working on some shawl pins. This hydrangea one is the first one I finished. It required a little bit of research and some experimentation with wire wrapping to build the frame. But it's pretty neat, I think.
So I've been working on another one for my Grandmother.
I used a pattern I made a little while back for some mini roses, and added on some leaf vines. I really like it! It's a little bit smaller than the hydrangea one. I might do a bigger one with one big rose and maybe a few buds. But that's an idea for another day. :)
There's one more I have to make before Monday, so I can get it shipped out in time. Then I have two more to make before I leave on Christmas vacation. :S Along with 5 rose stems. This should be fun!
As another year draws to a close, you start reflecting on all your accomplishments and failures - on everything you've learned, and draw on those lessons to help you move forward.
That's what I've been doing lately, both personally and for my business. I'll just share the business ones here though, since it could get awkward if I do my personal ones. :) Maybe it's a little early for some to be thinking about New Year's Resolutions, but they're on my mind and I need to get them recorded.
I registered my business in March of 2013, though I'd been selling my flowers on Etsy for a few months previous. I didn't really have a grip on what I was getting myself into. I didn't know much about target markets or how to find them, advertising, SEO (search engine optimization), trend watching, or even photography. There have been so very few successes compared to my failures, and at times that has gotten me down and feeling like I should give up. But I've been learning, little by little and I'm really hopeful for 2014. I have so many ideas that I want to put into action, and a few new tricks that I'd like to try. Forgive me, but this post might be a little long. :S
In this upcoming year, I'll be expanding my current product lines. My brain is always at work imagining new designs. So much, in fact, that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to make all of them. I have an idea list that's 10 pages long... seriously (yes I do have them written down). And I just keep adding to it. That's the curse of being creative, I think. My problem is that I'm equally excited about each of them, and that makes it really hard to figure out what to make next.
One of my goals is to produce one new item every week. Even if it's just a set of bobby pins, or a ring. At least one. I might only meet the minimum some weeks, depending on whether or not I'm working on any large projects, and other weeks I might have several new items.
Each month I want to make one bracelet, new design or old. In January I will be finishing my "Sophie" bracelet, which is a design concept I've been working on mastering for a while.
"Sophie" is a three stranded bracelet, meaning that there are three strands of flowers intertwining. But really there are 6 wires. It's been quite an undertaking. But I'm going to finish her up in January, and then hopefully make one more using what I've learned from the original. :)
I'm pretty excited about this one. I know my fans on Facebook love it, so I might actually make the second one for a Giveaway. That's another goal I have. Run my very first Facebook Giveaway. I'm hoping that the giveaway will increase my fans, as it will require anyone wanting to enter to both "Like" my page and "Share" the giveaway post with their friends. I think that having a really neat bracelet will increase the draw.
I'll also be making a few sets of earrings, and trying my hand at making some children's headbands using some 5/8" elastic that I acquired recently. And I'm going to revisit my pattern for Calla Lilies. I've developed one pattern for them, but I wasn't quite happy with it. So that's on the list for January.
Sometime this year, I want to try out this Project Wonderful site that I've been hearing about. It helps you build an ad, then hooks you up with blogs that appeal to your target audience, and if you're the highest bidder, your ad is run on that blog. I have a few other advertising ideas as well.
Spring is Wedding season, and my hair accessories really appeal to the wedding crowd. So I'll be spending the months before designing some new hair combs, tiaras, and such. I also really want to make a wedding bouquet. Hopefully I'll have that ready earlier, just in case I get a custom order for one - I want to have enough time to make it. I'm estimating a full month for a bouquet. :S
I want to attempt to sell my products in local stores. But I won't be doing that until I have quite a few new designs ready to introduce. This will require me to do a bit of research into which stores I want to approach. Cold calls make me nervous. :S I might puke. But it may be what I need to do to get my business up and going.
I also want to do a craft or artisan fair, so I'll be striving to produce enough items for a late Summer or Fall show.
I started my business with just hair accessories, with the intention of later expanding into home decor. You can see in my "Gallery of Designs" that most of my pictures are accessories, with only a few flower stems and wreaths and whatnot. So this upcoming year, you'll be seeing more flower stems, arrangements, wall decor, etc. :) I have so many ideas and I think they're really going to knock your socks off! I'm also going to do some smaller potted plants, like pansies, violets, and geraniums and whatnot.
These are mostly just general guidelines, since I may be lucky enough to get a custom order that might shift my timelines a bit.
Some of the flowers/plants I really want to make next year:
Daffodil (I have a daffodil pin, but I want to make full ones)
Hydrangea (started but not completed)
Mini Rose Bush
Mini Christmas Tree
At the beginning of each month I'll do a post for my goals for the month, and then at the end I'll evaluate how well I've done achieving them. I think I'm going to feature a new flower every month. Maybe plan a few new designs around that flower? Ooooo! That could be a fun challenge!
2014 is going to be a great year! Or else!
I've been working on a custom order for one of my neighbors: a rose bouquet with a half dozen roses in white, pink, and red.
Any of you who have been following along with me from the beginning know that I've played around with my rose pattern quite a bit. Every time I make one, I learn something new to help me improve my design. The roses I'm working on now are a culmination of everything I've learned so far, and I must say, I'm quite pleased with the new adjustments I've made!
Learning and improving is one of my favorite things about my craft.
I started by making all the leaves and sepals I'll need for all 6 roses. (I'm waiting on a bead delivery to make more petals, so I figured I should do what I can in the meantime.) I also had enough silver-lined clear seed beads to make the 14 petals I needed for one white rose. Each petal had to be laced with a fine wire so the rows would all stay together after they've been shaped and curled. It's like sewing on beads. :) I used to hate lacing, as it was tedious and pulling on the thin wire kind of hurt my tiny fingers. But I've gotten faster, and I think my fingers aren't such wimps anymore because it no longer hurts.
I then started assembling the rose, wiring one petal at a time onto the stem wires, and wrapping with matching floral tape so no wires would be exposed in the flower.
At this point I have all the petals attached. Afterwards I wrapped the stem wire with green floral tape as I added on the sepals and leaves.
I had two leaf stems that I'd already assembled together. One with three small leaves, and one with five large leaves.
After everything was attached and secure, I curled the petals a bit to give them a more natural shape.
Success! I really like this rose and I can't wait until the rest of the beads arrive so I can make the other 5 I need. :) So excited!!! Look for more pictures soon!
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 about six years now, and publishing patterns and tutorials for three years.
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