Yay! I have another finished piece to show!
This was a custom order that I received a few weeks ago from a previous customer. It took some time to develop a proper pattern - I had a basic one that I'd already made, but it needed some tweaking. And I had to practice making those spots for a while before I could get them right. A very tedious project, but I am very happy with the results!
So that concludes the custom orders I had. I've been doing custom pieces since July or so. Part of me thought I'd never get to the end of my list. First I will be finishing my Gerbera pattern. Then I will begin working on a few fall designs. I know it's a little late in the game for that, so I will probably only be making a few of those.
If you are interested in ordering your own custom made orchid plant, find the listing here.
I've been working on these for almost a whole month now and I am thrilled to share the final pictures of the five completed roses. Fair warning, there are lots of pictures in this post. The colors of these roses were so much fun to work with! I spent so much time with each rose that I wanted each one to have it's own portrait taken, so there are a few pictures here. Enjoy the slideshow!
After I get these babies packed up tonight I will start working on another rose in the same style for a separate order. Then, just yesterday I received yet another custom order for a Potted Spotted Phalaenopsis Orchid plant from a previous customer. Really excited about that project!
I really am going to finish that Gerbera Daisy tutorial, I promise! Last weekend I was unable to find extra time. I just need to take pictures of assembling the leaves and potting it. Then do all the editing for the tutorial.
I only have 2 or so spaces left for custom orders for Christmas! Of course this depends entirely on the size of the custom orders. I might be able to squeeze in a few extra if they are smaller. The rest of my time will be spent making presents for my own family and trying to stock my shop with some of the newer designs I've been dreaming of. If you want on my list, please contact me soon!
I had a custom order for a french beaded Rose hair comb made in light ivory and dark green.
Each petal is edged with sparkle white beads, and there are three leaves on each side. It is quite a bit heavier than my usual hair pieces. The flower had to be mounted on the top of the comb instead of the front to help balance out the weight. I'm sure it will still require some teasing, hairspray and bobby pins to anchor it securely, but I really like it!
After I finished my Wild Roses, I jumped right in to my next custom order, which was for a mini beaded rose vine. I've posted pictures of the sample vine I made for my customer before. But my customer wanted a very dainty vine. So I had to shrink the flowers and leaves and spread them out a bit. The large roses in the sample were somewhere around 1 1/2 inches wide. She wanted ones around 2/3 inch. The problem with that is that I usually use size 11/0 seed beads, and it's difficult to make tiny pieces without them looking... pixelated? Sorry, I can't think of a better term for it. Basically, you lose definition the smaller you go. Luckily, I was able to find size 15/0 seed beads in the colors she wanted - red and light peach. So I could make tiny beaded roses that actually look like roses and not just a mass of beads. I'm just glad I have tiny fingers or it would have been difficult to twist the tiny little loops.
Those are the peach roses I made for this project. I actually ended up with more than I needed. Better than having too few.
I won't be offering this particular vine for custom order in my shop. Simply because I personally prefer the sample piece with larger roses and more leaves. But that's just me. So, sometime soon I hope to make up a vine like that and then that style will be available.
Next on my custom order list is a French Beaded Rose hair comb made in ivory. But the wire I need is still a couple days out. So I will probably take a much needed break until then.
Last night I officially finished the first of a growing list of custom orders. This piece is a bouquet of beaded flowers modeled after a cultivated type of Wild Rose.
I took some pics of individual stems so I could make a "made to order" listing in my Etsy Shop.
This was a very fun project and I am very pleased with the result. I hope my customer will be as well!
Tonight I begin work on a mini rose vine!
Last week I mentioned that I had a potential custom order for some mini rose garlands. After speaking with the customer about some details I worked up a little sample piece, and I wanted to share the pictures of those.
This is just a small 7 inch segment. The vines are wanted to embellish a chandelier, but I don't have one of those to model it so I got out a little brass hoop instead.
If the order goes through, then I will be making vines like this one for several weeks. That will finish up July and probably part of August.
My brain has been wandering a little bit. I think it's a little tired of the constraints of having to design around a specific flower each month. June and July were supposed to be Rose Month, so it's fortunate that this mini rose vine came at this time. I have several projects that I've started, like some larger rose hair pins with baby's breath, a rose necklace, a rose hair comb, and rose shoe clips... but I haven't found the urge to finish them yet. I keep getting distracted by more and more ideas. Like these:
I have another idea for some earrings that I'd like to try out tonight while I await specifics for the rose vines. Then I think I will just not do a Flower of the Month for August. The month would be cut short anyways. So I'm just going to make whatever I want as it comes to me to give my brain a little break. This would also be a good time to remake some of my old designs to make some more patterns. I want to do my Iris and Gerbera patterns, so hopefully I will be able to get at least one of those done.
By the way, tomorrow is my birthday. I'm turning 25. :) CAAAAKE!!! IIIIIIICE CREEEAAAM!!! :D
Yay! I finished my red roses! Finally... I got a little distracted so it took longer than I thought.
I considered making some baby's breath, ferns, or tiny rose buds to go in there, but I decided that I liked it just the way it was.
I might have a custom order for some rose garlands similar to my Clematis Garland. :) Fun! If not that, then I want to make some wild roses for another type of wall decor.
Red is the Rose that in yonder garden grows...
Okay, so supposedly June and July are going to be Rose months. But now June is close to being over and I hadn't finished anything. I think after the hectic first week I had, my fingers just didn't want to bead very fast. (I had five orders in one week, two were custom orders, and packaging is very time consuming so I was up over my head and I nearly died!) One of those custom orders was for a rose... but I was in such a hurry that I forgot to take a picture of it. :S
This month I've been playing with several Rose things. I started a necklace, but my design flopped so I need to rethink things. Originally I had my beaded rose off-centered, but it proved to be too heavy. So I need to center it and re-bead the necklace strands and such. *Sigh* Unfortunately, since I don't work from patterns, many of my designs just don't work and I get to go back to the drawing board. In this case, I should have known this would happen, but I think my brain was numb and I was too excited.
Then I played around with a new rose pattern. I had a couple of ideas to improve the shape of my petals. One of my experiments failed. I was trying a new idea to make some heart-shaped petals. That combo of techniques didn't work out so well (I was doing a double scallop right at the top of the petal, so two scallops built on top of each other to form one big scallop). But I'm going to try one more time for heart-shaped with another technique. I'll let you know how that works out.
Another shape I was playing with was a wavy type. I think the technique I was using is actually a Ukrainian or Russian instead of the French method. :S I don't know. But I liked the result, I just didn't like that I couldn't do a reverse wrap at the bottom of the outer petals to hide the wires inside the flower. I will still be using this technique to make a few roses. Just not this time.
I ended up going through six hanks of these red beads, just playing around with petal shapes. :S I'm going to have to disassemble my mistakes to finish out this arrangement I'm working on.
So I made a large rose, bigger than my old design, but with the same basic round shaped petals. I did liven up my leaves a bit by changing the shape and size. :) And I really love the result.
It's very heavy though. This particular rose will be part of a larger rose arrangement. I'm going to make one bud and one smaller full rose along with more leaves. Possibly some baby's breath. :) But I did get up a custom-order listing in my Etsy Shop for the one stem. https://www.etsy.com/listing/193789556/large-french-beaded-rose-in-red-made-to?ref=shop_home_active_1
Next week I will be making a pattern for a smaller version of this rose, and it will be available for purchase in my Etsy Shop. :) I'm excited!
Hello everyone! It's been a busy few weeks for me, as usual. My sister came to visit with her baby, who I got to meet for the first time. I was pretty lazy while they were here, as far as chores and working on my flowers.
But I did manage to finish my potted Orchids.
What do you think? I live in a small town, and my selection of pots and bowls for potting is limited. So I found a regular glass one, then painted and sealed the inside before potting my Orchids in plaster with a covering of moss.
This piece will remain in my personal collection. I'm too attached to let it leave.
Tonight I begin work on a white Phalaenopsis Orchid hair clip, and that will, sadly, be my last orchid design. I had so many more ideas, but I just didn't get to make them. Oh well. They are now filed under the "later" category.
I redesigned my website... again. I'm just never satisfied.
Here's what I have planned for June:
My flower of the month will be Roses. I will be making quite a few of them, some with my old pattern. But I will also be trying out some new techniques to see if I can improve them a bit. Since I'm working on Roses, I will be making a pattern for them, which will be available for purchase once I'm done.
I only have a couple of accessory/jewelry ideas, so most of my work will be full flowers.
I also plan on doing a free tutorial for flower assembly. I showed a little bit about this at the end of my Daisy tutorial, but daisies only have a few stems to worry about, so I thought I would show assembly for multi-layered flowers.
Here is my completed Bonsai! This little tree will be keeping my husband company at work. :) I found a cute little dollhouse bench that I wanted to put under it, but it turns out it was too big in relation to the tree, so it will be saved for a later project. I have a cool idea for it, which I will keep to myself so it can be a surprise later. Muahahahaha.
I was fortunate to receive a custom order on Zibbet for a Pansy brooch. So I'll be working on that for a few days before jumping back in on my Orchids. :)
Last time I showed you guys my French Beaded Pansies, and I added a couple pics at the end of some works in progress.
I finished the necklace:
I really do love it and I'm very excited for this new branch. Most certainly I will be making many many more of these. In fact, I already started a new one.
Here's what I have so far:
It's likely that the components will be moved around a bit, since I'm going to be adding in a couple of off-centered sparkly white and gold Orchids on one side.
I had a minute earlier this week, so I worked up a couple of wedding hair pin sets. One of them follows with May's Orchid theme.
Now, for my Husband's Anniversary Gift. It was going to be a Weeping Willow, but it was being a brat and I was having some issues. Here's a bad angle of what I had.
I was worried I wouldn't finish in time, so I switched to a Cherry Tree Bonsai. It's not finished quite yet. I need one more section of branches, then I'm going to go back in and add more branches where it needs more fullness. Then I can pot it.
Last night my brain wouldn't let me sleep. It happens sometimes. I didn't fall asleep until after 5 am. But, I did manage to think up a few new ideas! And a few easy improvements for what I already make - which I'm actually surprised I didn't think of before. For a while I've been thinking about a new name for my little business, and I figured out a couple of ideas for that last night. I thought they were really great until my husband said they were "just okay". *SIGH*
At the end of April I started having some issues making my fingers make more Daisies, so I decided to try a smaller project that I've been wanting to do for a while.
The Pansy's name comes from the French word "pensée" which means "thought". Thus the Pansy flower is considered a symbol of remembrance.
I had a few failures while I was trying to figure out the best way to make the heart shaped petals, getting the color patterns right, and then making the most realistic sizing for the smaller petals. While researching, I discovered that there are a couple of different types of leaves. I decided to use larger frilly leaves to fill in space and add more green. And also because every other french beaded pansy I've seen uses those thinner grass-like leaves, and I wanted to be different.
I also had a few failures as I was trying to pot them. I thought since they were smaller flowers that floral foam might work, which would also result in a potted plant that wasn't too heavy. It didn't work. The flowers just spun around in the foam... So I turned to floral clay, which I've used successfully on many occasions. But for some reason, it didn't want to hold the pansies either. So... I decided to use plaster. Of course, holding that many separate stems still while the plaster set was a problem. Silly me decided to use a small piece of stiffer foam in the very bottom to hold the pieces in place. Then I found out that foam floats in plaster. So I got to hold it down for a good 20 minutes while it set. Still easier than tying down each piece. :)
Here are a few sneak peeks into what I'm working on this week:
I started a necklace last week, and I'm currently waiting on a shipment of the final pieces I need to finish it. I might make another one with Orchids, since the Orchid is May's Flower of the Month.
My 6th Wedding Anniversary is on the 10th, and I wanted to make something special for my husband. So I'm making him a beaded Bonsai tree. I'm hoping it will look like a Willow Tree when I'm done. I've never made a Bonsai before, and I don't know how many of these droopy willow branches I'll need, but they work up fairly quickly, so I think I'll be able to finish in time.
If I need a break from making willow branches, I will start playing around with shapes and sizes for Cymbidium and Phalaenopsis Orchids. :)
I have finally completed my Gerberas!
While I was looking over some Gerbera arrangements, I realized that most of them had the native leaves removed, so I figured it made sense to make them this way. I might make a potted one still this month with just one or two flowers, and that one will have the leaves included. :) I also wrapped the stems with embroidery floss this time. They're such sweet flowers, I thought they needed a nice luxurious finish. I almost switched the centers, so the dark pink would have white centers, and the light pink ones would be all light pink, but I thought the colors popped more this way. These babies have been listed in my Etsy Shop!
Also look for a Gerbera barrette in the next few days. Maybe a regular Daisy one as well, if time allows. I'd like to start on a bonsai tree I've been wanting to make for my husband. Our wedding anniversary is next month, so I thought it would be a nice little gift for him.
Since it's getting close to the end of the month, I need to start deciding on next month's flower. I have two ideas that I'd like to work on, so I'm going to ask for a vote.
What do you think May's Flower of the Month should be?
- Orchid (In this case I'd be making a couple of potted Orchids, hopefully two varieties, along with a few accessories).
- Rose (I'd begin work on a large rose wall hanging, and possibly a potted mini rose bush).
I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was going to work on a necklace design to send to a tester. I do like testing my new accessory ideas on people who aren't me and don't have experience with handling french beaded flowers. Mostly to test how well they hold up to see if the idea is viable.
I worked with my friend on the design for this one, since I wanted to make sure it would be something she would wear. We decided on a simpler necklace, and that's probably best for a first design. She has already given me some valuable feedback, but I'm waiting a few more days for a final say. I'm really hoping to do more of them! I have quite a few ideas. :)
I asked my Facebook fans if they would prefer to see Daisies or Tulips next, and the vote called for Daisies! So they are my Flower of the Month for April. :)
Daisies are often called the friendliest flowers. They are symbolic of innocence, gentleness, joy, purity, loyal love, and simplicity.
Daisies are rather easy to make with French Beading, so it only took me a couple of days to whip up a set of 5 little white daisy stems for a little bouquet.
I've made Daisies before, but I used to make the centers flat, which didn't look as realistic. I was grateful for the chance to redo my pattern. These babies have been listed in my Etsy Shop!
Daisies are my mother's favorite flowers. A few years back I made her a beaded flower sculpture/display with a Daylily and some Daisies. It was a lot of fun to make. :)
I wasn't able to do a tutorial this weekend, because I'd forgotten that we had some plans that took up most of my time. So, that's one thing to look forward to this week. I'll be covering the Basic Frame, which is the most used french beading technique.
You can also expect to see my first necklace design. I'm making this one for a friend of mine who will be testing the concept for me to see if they're sell-able. :)
Then, following along with my Daisy theme this month, I'm going to make one or two daisy brooches, a hair clip or bobby pin set. Then I'm going to try to expand on regular daisies and make some Gerbera Daisy stems, and depending on how long it takes to make a pattern for those, I'm hoping to do a few gerbera accessories too. :) Yay!
I was fortunate to receive a custom order from a nice lady in Australia this week. She ordered a red and black Tiger Lily with some fern leaves and gold baby's breath.
I finished the baby's breath last night, but I'm waiting on a confirmation from my customer. I might need to add on to the baby's breath. But, since I was waiting, I figured I had a little time to work on my Irises.
So far I have the flowers themselves assembled, and a couple of leaves attached to one stem. I stuck the others into the vase so you could get a good visual of what it'll look like when it's all done. I'm just doing two leaves per stem for now, since I'm going to sell individual Iris stems in my shops and they'll only have two leaves each that way. I need to wrap the stems with embroidery floss, then put the other leaves on their own stems to stick into my pot once I make the arrangement. I decided to forego the buds. :S But I like them just the way they are.
Also, a little side note. A few months ago I mentioned that I was working on an interview for Zibbet.com - one of my selling venues. Well, Zibbet's interview went live this past week, and I was their featured seller! Yay! See the interview here.
I hope my readers in the UK are having a wonderful Mothering Sunday today!
If beaded flowers are made properly, they will be around to bring you joy for many years to come. There are many antique beaded flowers still in existence today. To help keep your flowers in tip top shape and prolong their lifetime, they may require a small amount of maintenance and care.
- Cleaning -
If your flowers have accumulated dust, or if they have otherwise become dirty:
- First, try using a dry, soft cloth to remove the dust.
- If that didn't work, use a small amount of water on a soft cloth to rub out the grime. Some beads may become discolored if chemical cleaners are used.
- Avoid getting your flower stems wet, as this may damage the floral tape.
- Displaying -
- There are many types of finishes for seed beads, and some may fade over time when exposed to the sun. If you are unsure if your beads are subject to fading, avoid displaying your flowers in direct sunlight for extended periods.
- Keep them indoors! When exposed to the elements their integrity is compromised and they will have a much shorter life.
- Larger potted plants and wall hangings may bear a bit of weight. Use strong hooks and sturdy shelves to display them securely.
- While these flowers are durable, they are not indestructible and they are made from small pieces. It is best to keep them out of reach of small children and pets.
- If the flowers are knocked over and become misshapen or bent, they can be carefully remolded back into shape.
- Avoid overworking the wires by repeated bending back and forth. This will cause the wires to become brittle and break.
For March I've decided to work on a variety of Spring-time flowers. First up is the Daffodil.
Daffodils belong to the family Narcissus,and are also known as "Lent Lillies" or Jonquils. They are symbolic of new beginnings and rebirth, which makes them the perfect image for Spring! It is the birth flower of March, and the flower you give to your spouse on your 10th Wedding Anniversary. Legend says that a gift of a bouquet of Daffodils will ensure happiness, warmth and good fortune. But, being presented a single Daffodil will bring misfortune. :S
They grow in a variety of colors: all yellow, yellow/orange, all orange, all white, white/yellow, white/orange, red, and even pink! Their blooms grow anywhere from 1-5" wide. And, they are poisonous, so... don't eat them.
I went with yellow for my Daffodil stems, since those are the type of Daffodils I remember seeing in my mother's garden growing up.
They are up and listed in my Etsy Shop! I can do custom orders for other colors/sizes upon request!
I get to work on a custom order of hair pins tonight, then I will be remaking my Daffodil brooch. After that, I'll start on some Irises!
Bam. I'm done. :)
It has been listed in my shop! I can do custom orders for these as well, if you'd like custom colors, different flowers, size, multiples, or made to hang on the other side of a door, picture frame, or window. :)
This has been quite an experience for me. I started this project as part of my Flower of the Month challenge for January, and it took quite a bit longer than I planned. I've totaled over 90 hours working on this project, spanning about 5 weeks. Now that I see it complete, I'm actually glad that I had to use the diamond-shaped frame. It looks so much more ornate with it and gives the whole piece a larger presence.
I got most of the assembly done last night, but it got late and I was tired so I just went to bed. Then after I got the kiddos out of their morning crankies and fed them, I did a little more work on it. I hung it on my wall for a while so I could look at it. Every time I passed into the room I'd glance at it and over time I realized that I had a few pieces in the wrong spots. So those had to be moved. Then I hung it up again and looked at it in passing a few more times... went outside and covered the driveway with chalk with my 4 year old... and I realized that it needed some more of the fern leaves in a couple of places, just to help balance it out and make it look fuller. So I did that and got those wired in... and then I looked at it some more and I was finally pleased with the result.
This wall hanging has been a wonderful experience for me! It's the largest project I've done to date, and I learned a great deal while making it. I have a few ideas for more wall hanging I'd like to make, but not quite yet. I have a few other projects that need to come first!
For February I decided to use beads that I already had on hand as part of the Flower of the Month challenge. So I went through my beads and tried to figure out what flower I could make with those beads. In my New Year's goals I mentioned I wanted to make Clematis, and that's what I've decided on for this month. Clematis is a vine, and most varieties have large showy flowers with "fringy" centers. (I've tried growing them before, but I can't seem to keep plants alive. :( Fine, I'll just make them out of beads so they can't die on me! Take that!) The ones I'm going to make will be a powder blue, so a lighter blue that's a little purple-y. And what I'm going to turn them into is a garland - the type that you hang on the wall. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to make a corner piece or a straight one. But either way, you can hang them above doorways or picture frames, or windows. I'm also wanting to make a barrette, since it's been a while since I've done those, and possibly a brooch too. That should have me busy for the next two weeks. I actually just sat down tonight and made 18 of the 22 petals I'll need for the Clematis flowers in the garland. I do need to lace them, make the centers, and then a bunch of leaves. Nothing too complex, since the only thing I'll need to do to make it hang-able is to build in some loops on the back. I'm 90% sure I can complete it all by the end of the month. :D
I hope you follow along with me!
I know we're all tired of hearing about my Calla Wall Hanging, and quite frankly I'm starting to get a little frustrated.
My attempts to make my own oval frame from scratch has failed. My soldering skills are just not up to par with the task. Unfortunately, I didn't figure that out until after I'd already spent many days working on it. :( So, I'm using the pre-made square wreath frame. It will still look good, so I'm not too upset. But I was really hoping to make my own. I think ovals are just hard to make with this method, so I'll stay away from them until my skills improve. I have an idea for a square/rectangle one that uses wooden dowels as the main support. I don't have the wood working skills to make an oval out of wood. I don't have a table top jig saw, and all other saws just jump out of my tiny little hands. So, next time I'll just plan on using square, rectangles, or diamond shaped frames. :)
The last two days I've been working on this:
I had to add in the support wires in the center using some 16g floral stems. The wires and the frame were green, so I had to wrap every inch with black floral tape since I don't want the green to show through my beads.
I overestimated how many beads I'd need, but I underestimated how much wire I'd need to wrap the frame. And I don't shop on Sundays, so I can't get more wire until tomorrow evening.
Here's what I'm doing with those swirls I made. I have to make more of them since I'd only made enough for the oval frame and this one is larger. I'll be filling in all the open spaces with them. :) I really like how it's looking so far.
However, there is one major issue with this frame.
There's too much empty space. :S So, I don't have enough black wire to wrap more beads on the other half of the outer edge of the frame. But I will be spending part of today making a couple more leaves. I might do some fern leaves for the background, since they're easy to make and will take up space and add a little different texture. I'm just worried about all the green.
Oh, I also switched out the blue butterfly for a pale yellow one. I also have a tiny blue one that I made, but I couldn't find it for the picture. :S I might not use it though, so that's okay.
I've got a few more days it looks like. Then I'll finally be able to move onto February's flower, which is the Clematis. I was going to do another larger wall hanging, but I think I've decided to just leave the frame off and do a vine to hang on the wall by itself, or as a little corner piece to hang over a doorway or picture frame. :) I've been wanting to make garlands, and I think a Clematis would make a nice one. So February will be a bit simpler, and hopefully won't take as long.
Another thing I've been working on this week is rather exciting for me. The CEO of Zibbet picked me to be the featured artist on Zibbet's blog, so I spent a large amount of time agonizing over the interview questions and trying to get a good picture of me to go up there. The picture and interview will be on the front page of Zibbet for a while, as well as emailed out to everyone on their newsletter. So I'm a little nervous that so many people will be looking at my face. :S
But, yesterday I was working on wrapping the frame, and I thought "Hey! Let's get a picture of this!" So I had my husband snap a few shots. In case anyone is wondering, this is me:
My husband said that I look annoyed. Jerk.
The interview will be going up on Zibbet at the end of March, so look for me posting about it!
As I'm sure we all know by now, I've been working on Calla Lilies this month. I've made a Calla Lily Pin and some Calla Lily dangle earrings. But I've also been working my tail off on three Calla Lily stems.
I'm happy to announce that I have finally finished them.
These three are going to be used in a wall hanging I'm making. But I did set up a custom order listing for them in my Etsy shop.
Next step for my wall hanging is to make the Calla Lily leaves and long blade leaves that I need to fill in my project with lush greenery. :) I've never made Calla Lily leaves before, and I only have a general idea as to how to make them, so I will be doing a little bit of experimenting. The long blade leaves will be easy.
The frame will be a bit of a challenge for me, but I have a few ideas for that as well. Hopefully it works out the way I want, or the work I've put in so far will just be another failed experiment.
I've started on taxes. :S This is my first year doing business taxes, and it's rather frustrating. Yikes. On a side note, I really need to stop spending so much money at Joanns.
LAUREN'S CREATIONS has moved to it's new home on the web! Come drop on by my new website - BeadandBlossom.com - to learn the art of French Beaded Flowers.
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.