In my last post I shared pictures of a custom Orchid plant that I made and mentioned that I was going to be publishing the pattern soon. I finally got it up! It took longer than I anticipated. It's 22 pages long and has 96 pictures. That's a lot of pictures and pages for a single pattern. In fact, my book, Christmas Collection, was 111 pages and had somewhere around 450 pictures. So, this one pattern is close to 1/5th of my book in length. But it also took longer because I had to remake one of the larger petals for better close-up pictures... and there are eight colors you guys. That's not easy to do. And I was already "done". You know that feeling? When you finish something, and you're done and you close this box in your brain where that project was, but then you have to reopen it and make it again... it's not my favorite thing. So I had to kind of pump myself up for it.
Okay, details. The flowers are around 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) wide. The plant itself is approximately 18 inches (45.7 cm) tall - not including the pot. The pattern is set up so the blue shading in the example is optional. That type of shading in the blue one is very complex. I wish I could give exact bead counts, but there's too many variables that will change how many beads you use that it's just not possible to do that and get good results. For one, beads aren't always the same size. Even if they are all 11/0, beads made by different manufacturers, and even different lots from the same manufacturer, may be slightly different in size. Secondly, French Beading isn't like bead weaving, where if you do the stitch correctly it will look exactly like the pattern. Each artist has their own "technique", or uses a different tension on the wire that can affect the size, shape, and look of the finished pieces. It also affects how many beads and how much wire is used. This is why I always recommend that you purchase extra materials for your project. It's also why you should cut extra wire. If a pattern tells you to cut a 12" length of wire... well you might use 14 inches, or 11 inches... French Beading is not an exact art form. So unfortunately, giving exact bead counts just won't work well and will cause more frustration. However, in the back of the pattern I have a special section with what I hope will be helpful notes about how I accomplished that type of shading. There are close up pictures of the petals, as well as pictures of the beads I used.
You'll also find that each petal in the pattern is made in pure white. I've done this to help you plan your own shading patterns. Caren Cohen taught me a wonderful way to plan shading patterns. Make the petal once in a single color, then scan it on your copier, print it out and color it. Now, this also won't give you exact bead counts for your second petal, but it can help you get a good idea, and help you decide if you actually like your shading pattern before you make it out of beads. So, you can print those pages from the pattern and color them.
So, for anyone wanting a copy of this pattern, it is available in my Pattern Shop!
Alrighty, so, I did something else this week that was completely unplanned. While I was pumping myself up to remake a petal for pictures, I decided to go ahead and make a completely different tutorial. This is a free one, because it's just a simple variation of Continuous Loops that I used to make a French Beaded Bezel around a stone that didn't have a hole so I could use it for a flower center. This is an idea that sprouted in my brain several years ago, and thanks to my One-A-Day project, I finally had a chance to test it.
I did put the tutorial in PDF format, though, because I find that all the pictures from my blog get lifted and posted elsewhere.
Download your free copy here. The PDF just teaches the flower center, not the full flower. It's intended more to teach an idea that you can alter as needed for whatever type of stone you're bezeling, though it will teach you exactly how to make a beaded bezel around a 12mm Swarovski Rivoli. :) Enjoy!
Okay, I realized after typing the above paragraph that I haven't updated here about my One-A-Day project since... February... (yikes!) so here's a picture dump to get me caught up!
And now I am on to pink flowers for July! After that I will still have 5 months worth of work to do... so I'm going back around the colors to make leaves and whatever else I need to fill in areas and whatnot. It's already around 18 inches wide, so I imagine it will get a little bit bigger. It's just going to be a huge color wheel wreath, that's for sure.
So I've been doing lots of fun stuff for this project, so I will be pulling some of these flowers out to show you some weird ways to use or embellish French Beading techniques. But that will be in other blog posts because this one is already way too long.
As for what I'm doing next... well I'm doing secret Spring Collection work... and I'm doing more work for my relaunch (on my new website) that will hopefully be happening in a few months. I've got a really great "something" that I'm working on for that and I can't wait to show you!
Happy Beading everyone!
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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