I'm going to quickly update about this last piece I've finished. My series of Tips will start next week as I am completely exhausted and haven't had a chance to gather all my thoughts (or what's left of my thoughts after this piece) for the first segment on Designing Flowers.
Alrighty. Last week I showed you a picture of the sketch I made for the customer who commissioned this piece. It features roses made from my Free Miniature Rose pattern, assembled into a wreath with draping vines. This was a seriously intense project. Around 160 roses, and over 300 leaves. Working with carpal tunnel affecting both of my wrists, thumbs, and pointer fingers made it take much longer than it normally would.
This piece will be displayed on my customer's shelf, which has a dome shape. But I didn't have one of those, so I used this little birdcage with the same top dimensions to display it for pictures.
The outer width of the wreath is about 10 inches, and the longest vine is 18 inches. The assembly alone took around 6 hours, not including the time it took to put the layers of petals together into roses, or the time to turn individual leaves into leaf branches. So, it was just a massive project. I've been up into the wee hours of the morning for many days. I had to push myself that hard to finish because I have more custom work, and other projects, with deadlines that I can't miss.
But, all the work was worth it as I think it turned out amazing! Even better than what I was imagining. It's so wonderful to see the end result of something you've been toiling over for so long.
And now I jump into my next custom order, which is also very exciting!
Come back next week for my first Tips post, or subscribe so you don't miss anything!
First up, I did publish a new pattern and then got so busy that I forgot to post here about it... This one actually features two patterns for two different types of Tulips - Standard and Peony Tulips (aka Double Tulips). The patterns were so similar that I figured it would be easier and less redundant to just bundle them together.
After my last post I opened up to Custom Orders, but had to close back again a couple days later as my schedule filled really quickly. I don't have many slots this year as I'm working on a large pattern packet for Christmas so a lot of my effort will be spent on that.
My first custom order was for a crystal rose made in a light peachy pink. Here she is pictured with the red one I made myself earlier this year. In the same order there was also a strawberry plant made from a pattern in the Beaded Berry Collection.
I've also been working on flowers for a fundraiser to benefit my nephew's preschool. I was able to make for them one of my new Peonies. Several of my readers have asked me to publish this pattern, but I'm not sure that I can in it's current format. Firstly, it uses a size of bead that is not very common, especially overseas, and is becoming harder and harder to find in the US as well, so I'd have to alter it to suit a more accessible bead size. Secondly, I have a few tweaks to make to the design And Lastly, I use free-form scalloping for the petals so no two are alike and I'm not sure how that would play out for others trying to follow the pattern. I will see what I can do, but it would be a more advanced pattern, and it wouldn't be for a while as my schedule is super full.
This brings me to my current custom order, which is a big one. For my customer I am making a wreath and vine combination to decorate the top of a dome shaped shelf. I made a little sketch as you can see below. The design will feature my miniature roses made in three different colors - red, cream, and black. I need about 165 of these itty bitty roses, and around 200 itty bitty leaves, along with little fern sprigs. It's a lot of beadowork, but I am almost finished, so I should have pictures of the completed piece sometime next week.
Next time I will be back with what will be the first in a series of Tips for my fellow French Beaders. I've been wanting to do this for a while and just haven't had time to gather my thoughts and implement it. So, we are just going to dive in, beginning with how I go about designing flowers. It is my hope that these will be helpful to you and that it will work as more of a discussion with others adding in their helpful hints in the comments.
Until then, Happy Beading!
So I've been on maternity leave for a while, but I'm still beading up a storm. You can tell because my studio looks like a tornado hit it. Since I've had all this free time to make whatever I want, I sat down and made a list of all the new flower designs I wanted to make for Spring. There were over 10 different types of flowers on that list... guess how many I made? Two... yeah, just two. Big plans, but life gets in the way. I should just stop making plans. Then I won't get disappointed when I don't get to do it all. Since my last post my oldest son has had eye surgery (they cut on my baby's eyeballs!!!) and almost everyone has had the flu (except the baby, thank heavens). So I'll just blame my adorable family for not getting to test out my really cool grape hyacinth idea.
But... I did get to make a couple flowers, so I'll just be happy with that. Here are my French Beaded Crocuses!
I don't make small flowers like these very often, so it felt kind of strange making such small petals and leaves. I did just publish my Crocus pattern in my Pattern Shop! It is a beginner level pattern, but it does teach a brand new technique - Basic Row Extension on the Bottom Wire. I've published patterns before that show how to do a Top Wire Basic Row Extension (namely my Beaded Rose Full Tutorial and the Calla Lily Pattern), so I thought it was time I showed how to Extend the Basic Row on the Bottom Wire.
I also made a couple Roses. These were not on my Spring Flower to-do list, but they were on my Stock-the-shop to-do list. Honestly, I've had a stock-the-shop to-do list running since the beginning of last year and I never got to it. So I promised myself I'd add some new flowers or else. Roses are always popular, so I figured I should make a couple of those.
The first one is a redesign of an older Rose pattern. I used some absolutely beautiful 2 cut satin beads in the petals and leaves. I love these beads, but they are much harder to lace as the beads have sharper edges. The beads fit together closely so it's difficult to get the wire between them, and sometimes the edges break the wire. Very frustrating. But look how sparkly!
The second rose I made is also made with satin 2 cuts, this time in a coral pink. However, it's a different style of rose - a remake of my older wavy rose.
Last but not least, my new Tulip design. I am currently working on finishing a pink set like these, and then I want to attempt a Double Tulip if I have any time before I have to start my next project.
I am going to try my hardest to get this pattern listed, too. I have most of the pictures taken already, just need a few more and then editing and the write up. But with the way life is right now it might take me longer than I'd like to get it finished.
I'd like to blog more often with design tips and whatnot as well. I just don't get to sit at my computer very often.
All of the flowers shown above are available to purchase for any interested parties. You can find them in my Etsy Shop!
I've just opened back up to custom orders again, and my queue is already almost full. I *might* have one more space available in May, depending on the size of the project I'm currently planning with a potential customer. After that I will be closing again for June to try to knock a few projects off my ever growing idea list... then I have a custom wedding bouquet in July. I'm not sure how many more custom orders I will take this year as I am also working on a Christmas Pattern booklet, but feel free to contact me with any ideas and I'll see what I can do.
Before I start on custom orders though, I will be making a few flowers that will be donated as fundraiser auction pieces for my husband's nephew's preschool. I will be making a Peony, another Rose, and I'm thinking a stem of yellow lilies, or maybe one large super ruffly Day lily. We shall see.
Got some fun stuff coming up!
Hello there everyone! I've had a busy couple of weeks, but I did actually manage to get some flowers made.
First off, one of my favorite online bead stores (Shipwreck Beads) had a super sale - up to 70% off. I took the opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do. I purchased a large amount of faceted round crystal beads (3mm) and I made a rose out of them! This one I am keeping, because I may not be able to justify the expense ever again. Because of the regular cost of the beads, I doubt I'll get to make any more of these as regular stock items for my shop, but if you'd like to custom order one after I reopen for custom work, please let me know. Just be warned that they are extremely pricey. But very sparkly!
Now, the last time I posted I promised you lovely people a new Free Pattern. I've had to work my tail off to get it done in time and barely met my deadline... but I am happy to say that I have now published my Miniature Rose pattern in the Free Tutorials section of my website. The pattern is beginner level, but does require you to know the basic French Beading techniques (all taught for free here as well) Go get your free copy!
If you make anything with the pattern, send me an email with a picture so I can see! I love getting those emails. :)
This piece itself is also available in my Etsy Shop!
Hello wonderful readers! I am (finally) back with the next free tutorial that I promised for you. I've had these pictures taken for a few weeks now, but then I had my baby before I could get around to publishing the tutorial and needed a little while to adjust and recover. Baby girl is 2 weeks old now (she came a couple weeks early), and she and mommy are both doing well. On a side note, I apologize for any delays in answering emails lately. I believe I've gotten caught up now. For now, my Etsy Shop is closed until I feel ready to reopen that. But my tutorials and patterns are still up and available.
Now for that free tutorial... This technique I have never seen in any books, but I don't own all the books, so I'm not entirely sure if this is a traditional French Beading technique or just something that popped in my head. I couldn't find mention of it anywhere... so I made up a name for it - Vertical Continuous Basic Frame. It allows for making multiple Basic Frame pieces stacked on top of each other on a single central wire.
Kind of a weird little technique, and I'm not sure how many useful applications there are of it. But a tutorial was requested by several people so I figured I might as well put it out there. Perhaps someone will find more use for it than I. One person mentioned using it for a Christmas Cactus. I used it to make this little headband.
If you do use it I'd be interested in seeing what you make.
I did also get to make a couple of mini trees. The white one is 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide. The smaller green one is 6 inches tall and 4 inches wide.
I'm not sure how I feel about the gold under the white tree. I intended it to look like a tree skirt. But I will be decorating that one eventually, and possibly adding little beaded present boxes, so perhaps those additions will help balance out the bolder color. The small one I am leaving as is.
I'm still on maternity leave, so I'm not quite ready for custom work. But I do have a few projects in the works. One is another free beginner's pattern that I hope to have finished soon. Then I am also working on a fun project with my husband (I'll share details once I have something to show), a wall hanging for my baby, and some new designs for springtime flowers.
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