I've been operating under the name of Lauren's Creations since 2013. It's a name I chose without knowing exactly where my crafting journey would take me. When I started selling on Etsy (where it all began) I was actually selling my handmade painted, carved, and wood burned gourds. Here are some pictures of the gourds I made for anyone curious.
Then switched to French Beading when carving and wood burning became too difficult to do with children, but I kept the same name. I had no idea then that my business would grow to where it is now. If I had, I would have chosen a different name. Everyone and their dog has a shop named "so-and-so's Creations".
Basically, I've always hated it. So when I started having too many issues with my website builder (Weebly), and the frustration with the lack of features... I decided that it was just time for a change. And that it needed to happen sooner rather than later. So everything else had to be pushed aside so I could build a brand new website.
So, I am excitedly announcing the Grand Opening of my brand new website - BeadandBlossom.com! I've been working on this project for months. I haven't had much time for beading because of it, and it's making me really cranky. So I am very happy to be done with it so I can do more than just one leaf a day for my One-A-Day project.
I can't write a post about this without mentioning my wonderful husband. Professionally he is a Network Administrator and Programmer/Web Developer. There were so many issues I ran into while using Wordpress that he was able to assist with. I'd be stuck with Weebly forever if not for him and his mad coding skills. He calmed me down through many tears of frustration as I was trying to get all the pieces to work together.
I've been wanting to redo my free tutorials for years. Just haven't had the time. Building a new website was the perfect opportunity to redo them. Well, so far I've redone the ones that are absolutely necessary for people to be able to use my patterns. The rest I'll be adding a little at a time. I've put the tutorials in separate courses based on difficulty level.
My Beginner Course is mostly done. It's divided into 2 parts. Part 1 teaches all of the entry level techniques in separate lessons. The picture/text versions of those tutorials are up and ready for anyone who wants to browse through them. The video series for Part 1 of this course will be coming near the beginning of 2019 (I've already been recording videos, so it is coming soon!)
Part 2 is currently in development as well, and it will feature several new free patterns designed specifically to practice those techniques. That's definitely not something you'll want to miss.
Once all the parts and pieces to the course are finished, there will be a free PDF version of the full course available to download with links to videos and everything. I may consider doing a print booklet version on Amazon if people request hard copy (of course the hard copy wouldn't be free, since it's not free for me). So if that's something you'd want, please let me know.
Find the Beginner Course here.
I also have some of the Intermediate Course techniques up (the ones needed for patterns). I'll be adding more to this section and the Advanced Course in the coming months. But all the courses will be free. :)
While making these courses, I wanted to make the resource that I wish I'd had when I first started out. So I went forward with that in mind and I really hope you guys will find the new tutorials better than the last ones.
With this new website, you'll also be able to create an account. Doing so will allow you to access your orders and re-download any files that you may have lost.
Unfortunately I will not be able to add access to files purchased from this "old" website, just orders going forward. You can still email me if you've lost any files from orders from Lauren's Creations. I have all those records on hand.
My new website is set up to accept multiple currencies. In each product listing you'll see a Flag drop-down list where you can select your currency. And then you can pay in the selected currency. Please let me know if you have any trouble with this. Being in the US I was only able to run test orders in US dollars.
Grand Opening Sale
To celebrate the grand opening of my new website, everything is on sale. :)
If you are signed up for my newsletter here on Lauren's Creations, you do not need to sign up for the newsletter on Bead & Blossom. I will transfer you over. If you wish to unsubscribe at that point, you can do so by clicking the link in the bottom of any email you receive from me.
Thank you all so much for your support and for helping me build this website and my business. It means so much to me! I hope to see all of you over at Bead & Blossom! I'm really hoping that this new website will become, in time, one of the best resources for anyone wanting to Learn French Beading. Onward and upward!
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.
Yay my Poppies and my Mini Rose Vine are finished.
Here are some pics from my photo shoot with my Poppies. The arrangement was ordered with some gold and black ferns, but I personally prefer it without them. These little leaves were so easy to make, but it required some weird technique combos.
And then I got to make another mini rose vine. This time the roses were larger than the usual ones I make, and the entire vine was wrapped with beads. My customer picked off-white, red, and black for the roses, with mixed green leaves. I wasn't sure how the mix would turn out, I'm in love with it. I need to make more and smother my whole house in them. Muahahaha.
The leaves all have different shading patterns, which were really fun to make. I do plan on doing a pattern for the rose vine someday, I'm just not sure when.
Up next I will be making some Lily of the Valley stems. Then I'm taking a break from custom orders to do the Dahlia pattern that everyone has been requesting since last summer. I'm thinking I'll make these ones orange and yellow, just because I don't work with a lot of orange. Or maybe red and garnet? Gah I can't decide.
I will also be working a little on the beaded berry pattern that my friend, Suzanne Steffenson, and I have been developing. Hopefully I will have more news (or at least some teaser pics) for that soon. Though we are including a great deal of info, so it's a longer term tutorial project.
In other news I am running a pattern sale this week! Every single PDF Pattern and Tutorial in my Pattern Shop is 40% off until March 21st. No coupon code required!
Hello again, folks! It's been a very busy week(ish) at Lauren's Creations. I've finished my next order for these 2 pink Dahlias. Yay!
But I've also received quite a few more custom orders since last I updated this blog. I'm now booked all the way through June. I will leave my shop open until Saturday, when my 15% off offer expires, then after that I will be closing for a few months so I can get through this long list. My current project is for a mini Poppy arrangement. Originally we were going with the larger Poppy, but my customer decided she wanted them smaller. So I'm making 3 of the tiny ones on the left. Plus a couple buds, some of those funky poppy leaves, and the black and gold fern leaves that you can kind of see in the background in the second picture. I'm saving the larger one I made for a future project. :)
This one will be finished in just a couple days. Then I'm jumping right in to another mini rose vine. Then I get to make Lily of the Valley, after which I'm taking a break to do my Dahlia Pattern by the end of the month. Then I will be making an Astilbe Stem, a Purple Iris, 3 Purple Gerbera Daisies, a Wedding Bouquet!, a Hydrangea, then another Southern Magnolia and a Purple Ruffled Rose. Phew! Some of these projects seem so far away. But I'm excited for each and every one of them. Of course, because of the scheduling needs of a couple of them, I'm having to push my Hydrangea pattern from April into June. But, I'm making a Hydrangea that month for a custom order so it works out well. :) I haven't published a new pattern this year and it feels really strange. I had no idea that this many orders would come in back to back. My little fingers are going to be beading like crazy, that's for sure.
I will see you all next week with another update on my progress.
Just wanted to drop by and share some pics of a couple finished custom orders.
First is the Southern Magnolia that I showed some in progress pics of last week. This is the first flower that I wrapped with silk floss instead of regular embroidery floss. It took forever. The stems are thick and there were tons of them. And the flower is huge, so holding it up and spinning it while wrapping on the floss made my hands cramp. It took hours. But it's so pretty. I really like how glossy and shiny the silk floss is.
Then I also finished another yellow rose. Yellow seems to be the most commonly ordered color of roses. I assumed red or pink would be the most popular, but apparently not. :) I do have a tutorial for this rose available in my Pattern Shop.
This stem was also wrapped with silk floss, but it didn't take nearly as long because the stem isn't as thick. I think I made a new personal best record on how quickly I could make one of my large roses. Usually it takes 4 days or so (only so many hours I can work in a day), but this one I did in 2.5 days. Of course, it was only possible because I slacked off on cleaning for a few days. And don't you know, that's when your in-laws tell you they're coming over for dinner in an hour, which is exactly what happened to me. So I had to throw my kids outside so I could power clean without bowling anyone over. Haha.
Now I'm working on 2 Dahlias. I've got the centers finished for those already. Just need about 50 more petals... Then these tiny little babies will be about 6 inches wide. I am doing this pattern next month (trying to decide on what colors to do, there's so many combos and they are all delicious) and there will be a few alterations to the original design, as well as leaves and a bud too.
But, if you've been looking forward to this tutorial, there is a technique that you need to know first. Last year I developed a new spokes combo technique (while I was designing these Dahlias actually) and it is taught in my Spokes Technique Tutorial, which is available in my Pattern Shop.
I opened up last month to Custom Orders after my end of the year hiatus, and I've been fairly busy with orders. :) Last month I made this yellow rose.
And then early this month I said goodbye to my burgundy Peony arrangement and my new Poinsettias as they headed out to their new homes. It's a bittersweet moment when my babies leave the nest.
I also made another one of these miniature rose vines. (I'm thinking of doing a tutorial for these, but it's a few months out.)
And then... this past weekend I had a flurry of custom orders come in.
First one is for another one of my Southern Magnolias. That one should be done in a couple days. I'm using the special ordered 22g White wire by Parawire, and I'm loving it. It does take a little getting used to.
After this one is finished I will be making 2 of my large Dahlias. (I will be doing this pattern next month!) And another yellow rose just like the one up top.
Then after that I get to make Poppies! Never made those before so they will be a new design. Yay! I love new designs. And with that order there will be another mini rose vine. And finally, I get to make Lily of the Valley! Which I've also never made before, so another new design. These orders have me booked for the next month, and then I will be taking a short break from custom work to produce my Dahlia Pattern. I'll be adding in leaves of course, with just a few alterations to the original design (more petals?), and maybe some buds too.
After my Dahlia is complete I can either do my Hydrangea Pattern, or a hair accessory pack tutorial (with hair pins, hair clips, headbands, combs, barrettes... etc). Which would you prefer?
Also, I've discovered something new. A customer contacted me about making something like a daisy chain. Had to spend a day thinking about it, but my brain worked out something that I think is pretty neat! It's like a chain of Basic Frames stacked on top of each other, all with the same wire. Not sure if this is an actual thing or just something I pulled out of my brain. Anyone know of a name for this Technique?
I have been practicing recording video tutorials as well. I've finally got the lighting and sound correct, but I get so nervous that I forget how to do things and what words are. Haha. So I'm probably going to have to write a script so I don't fumble around like a goofball. The first one might still be a little awkward though.
I'll be back hopefully next week with some finished project pictures of a couple custom orders. :)
As some of you may know, many French Beaded Flower artists wrap the stems of their flowers with embroidery floss to cover the floral tape used in construction. You can also wrap the stems with beads. I do have a free tutorial for how to do this here.
Today I am focusing on the embroidery floss option.
There are different types of embroidery floss available on the market. I'll be talking about two types - cotton and silk.
I've taken 12" lengths of each type and wrapped them on 16 gauge stem wire to compare them.
DMC Cotton Thread
Regular old DMC brand cotton floss can found in just about any craft store. These come on skeins that contain around 8 meters of thread (8.7 yards). They are made of individual twisted strands of cotton thread twisted together into one thicker twisted thread. This stuff is pretty cheap. Where I live a regular sized skein is only .40 cents or roughly .02 cents per foot.
To properly use this thread, you have to untwist it as you wrap so it lays flat. Though the individual threads will remain twisted.
Pros: It's cheap. It also had the best coverage of all three threads. Since it is thicker, laying it flat and wrapping a 12" length covered 2.5" of a 16 gauge florist stem wire. It is still more appealing than just floral tape alone.
Cons: It's not very smooth looking, you have to untwist as you wrap which is annoying and slows you down. It's much thicker than the other flosses, so it will add more bulk to your stems than the others below.
Soie Ovale Silk Thread
Next up is a silk thread made by the French company Au ver a soie. This thread is claimed to be some of the best silk embroidery thread on the market, so I had to try it. I purchased mine from Needle in a Haystack (here's a link to their soie ovale selection, since it was bothersome to find). It comes on a 15 meter spool, which is currently $3.35 (plus shipping) so around .07 cents a foot. I'm sure there are other sources.
Pros - It's shiny. You don't have to untwist to wrap it.
Cons - Not sure if you can see in the picture, but this stuff has tons of little fly-away threads sticking out all over the place, which I don't find very attractive. The most expensive of the three. Silk threads are much thinner than the cotton. Silk threads are measured by sugas, or the individual silk filaments, which are very fine. The 12" piece of this thread covered 1 1/4" of 16g florist stem wire.
Once I saw those little hairs sticking out, I wondered if it were a handling issue, or a thread issue. So I bought another brand of silk thread to find out.
Japanese Embroidery Silk Thread
This is my favorite. I purchased mine from JECstore for $8 (plus shipping) for a 60 meter spool (.04 cents a foot). The thread is untwisted flat silk made of 12 sugas.
Pros: No fly-away hairs sticking out, smooth and shiny and beautiful. No untwisting to wrap. Cheaper than Soie Ovale.
Cons: More expensive than DMC cotton thread. At 12 sugas it is pretty fine. The 12" length only covered 7/8 of an inch of 16 gauge florist stem wire, so you'll need much more of it to cover your stems.
Until now, I've been using mostly regular old cotton embroidery thread. The nicer silk stuff is not readily available in my small town, and trying to find a supplier was difficult for me, so I put off trying it. Last month I finally got around to it and I must say I am very pleased with the silk floss! Well, the last one I'm pleased with. I will probably be using this more often than the others.
The pictures I took are very close up, so the textures are more exaggerated than they are at a normal viewing distance. At a normal distance, they all look smoother than the pictures. If the silk threads are too much, I promise your flowers will still be beautiful with the cotton. Flossing at all is optional. Folks have been making beaded flowers for years with just floral tape covering the stems. Some people hate just floral tape, but I will repeat advice I've given before. Use what works for you. Use the best materials that you can afford. If anyone gives you grief about your flowers, poke them in the eyes! :)
Anyways, those are just a few options for flossing your stem, if you have a favorite, please share it in the comments so others can check them out!
Hello again my friends! I hope you all had a marvelous holiday season (whatever it is that you celebrate!) and that you are enjoying the new year. Today I wanted to share with you a new tool that has helped with French Beading.
These frames were made by my father from a design by a French Beaded Flower artist and teacher named Sheila Herson, who gave a set to one of her students - Barbara Keute. It was from Barbara that I learned of these very useful tools.
These types of things aren't sold anywhere, since they are a custom design. So, I asked my father to make a set for me. I asked him to make mine out of yard sticks so I could use the frame to measure out Basic Rows or wire easily. There are two hooks on each frame, one on the "top" and one on the "side". You can use either one depending on the length and size of the piece you are making. These frames are meant to be leaned against a table to hold them upright so you can use the hooks to hold your top and bottom loops while you measure out rows and wrap. It helps keep your top and bottom wires very straight and acts as a third hand. They are especially helpful for making large or long petals and leaves. However, I don't work at a table. I actually sit on the floor most of the time, sometimes on the couch, so I've got nothing to lean it against.
An idea was triggered by a memory of my mother using an embroidery stand to hold her cross-stitching. So, I asked my father to design and build a stand for me to go with the frames from pictures of ideas that I sent him. I gave him measurements and angles and all that, and he built me this really awesome stand.
There is a flat piece on the bottom, which goes under my legs. A clamp at the top to attach my frame (I can switch them out easily). It's even height adjustable, and I can adjust the angle of the frame. Now, one thing that was not intended was that it can actually be used standing on the floor while I sit on my couch. This was something I accidentally discovered while I was taking pictures of it this morning. I had to extend the height fully, then attach my frame in upside down and rotate the clamp hinge all the way up. Your feet can sit right on the base. It works for me because I'm short (5'2" ish). If I were taller I'd have to lean down too much. Cool huh?
Anyways, I'm sharing this to hopefully spark some ideas in ways to make beading easier. I've posted pictures of the stand elsewhere, and I've already had a bunch of messages about purchasing one. I don't believe my daddy intends to make more (at this point). But perhaps you could find a way to rig your own? The frames would be fairly simple to make, and if you work at a table that's all you'd need. You don't have to use yard sticks. I've seen others use picture frames. I bet you could use an actual embroidery stand and frames too.
I am open to custom orders now! Currently I have an order for a yellow rose, which is nearly complete. I am also working on a Magnolia project (still) and a pattern/tutorial collaboration with another Beaded Flower designer and friend. I will share more info on that once we have some teasers to show. ;)
I've made plenty of roses, and I think the ones I've made thus far have been pretty good. But I never was quite happy with the shape of the petal. I needed a break from tutorials, so I decided to take a few days and try out a new technique to see if it could improve my roses.
The method I used is seen more often in beaded flowers made by Russian artists, but I'm not sure if they name their techniques. If they do, Google doesn't translate the names well. But, I've heard this technique called a Y-Frame by US artists, and that seems a fitting title. I've played with it a little before but never could get it to look right, so I practiced a little more and I think I've managed to make a nice rose! I do much prefer the shape of these petals. The technique I used allows more shaping possibilities. I think I just need to work on my center petals a little.
It's a larger sized rose! The flower head is 4.5" across. For this Rose I used Parawire's 24 gauge silver and Artistic Wire's 24 gauge green. Not sure I'll use 24g Artistic wire for larger pieces ever again because it's really soft. I'll just save it for small pieces. The beads are Toho's Silver Lined White Opal and Transparent Olive AB, and Miyuki's Silver Lined Old Rose.
I also found some time to finish some hair pieces that have been sitting on my desk waiting to be attached to combs. I think I'll make a smaller version of each as well.
If you notice in my pictures, I now have my signature, a copyright symbol and my website obnoxiously bold on my pictures. Recently I've come across several sites where many of my pictures are being reposted. That itself isn't really the issue. If you want to share my work, feel free to do so. But when you share it, please include my name as the artist. From now on all of my pictures will have those on there. For now they are in less obtrusive locations, but if they are frequently being cropped out or removed I will make them more obnoxious. I don't like feeling like I have to do this to protect myself.
For my Free Tutorials, I've seen the pictures copied and pasted from my tutorials onto other sites. I have a blurb at the end of every tutorial asking not to do this. I'm sure the people who are doing it are not trying to be malicious. Many don't know about copyright or intellectual property laws and that my pictures (even the ones in the free tutorials) are protected by them. Just because a picture is on the internet does not mean it's public property. Please know that if multiple people are reposting those images on their own sites, google may ding my website for it and I can lose my standing on search engines. Also, if a site larger than mine gets a hold of them, they can rise above me in search engines using my pictures. I am a business and I depend on those tutorials to help bring traffic to my website, and if people are constantly stealing my tutorials then they are also stealing my traffic and possibly negatively affecting my website. I love being able to provide them, and I don't want to have to get rid of them or stop doing them because I know that they've helped many people. But I've worked so hard on this website, using my own time and resources to build it from the ground up, and I don't want my own pictures used against me. If you want to share my tutorials, please do it with a link! Pin them on Pinterest, share the link on Facebook or Twitter or Google +.
Every time I type the word "pine cone" it tells me its supposed to be two words, but that looks really off to me. Oh well.
Anyhoo... I've finished this custom piece! It measures 14 x 9 inches, just slightly larger then the original Blue Poinsettia wall hanging that this one was designed from. The blue one is in my personal collection, but I kind of like this red one better! I'm going to have to make myself some red poinsettias now.
Here's a little slideshow of the commissioned piece. :)
Hmmmm... What should I make next? I really want to play with 15's. But I also want to do Pumpkins and lilies and orchids and... everything else, and I'm going to play with a new technique, which I will be demonstrating on my blog hopefully sometime soon.
Recently I was put in charge of planning and executing the Fall Festival at church. (My own fault as I presented the idea... teach me to have ideas ever again!) Thank heavens for delegation. Haha! At least I had a couple weeks of relative down time. I've had to turn down a few custom orders, and I feel badly about that because they were so excited, and some of them were going to be gifts... But this tired mama needs a break from pressure and deadlines.
I've noticed that many of the patterns I have available are more difficult than most beginners could manage. So, I'm going to be doing a few easier patterns, along with a few more technique tutorials. One pattern that's been requested is Astilbe, and I'm thinking maybe Pansies, Lilies, or Poinsettias, or a new Rose design after that. Hmm. maybe I'll just do all of them. Muahahahahaha!
Just dropping by quickly to share pics of the Hydrangea I finished for a customer today.
It was harder than I thought it would be. Two shades of blue with some white markings. 50 individual flowers with 6 different color combos and a myriad of shading patterns. All that effort helped to produce the subtle mixed tones that hydrangeas are known for. Those leaves... they took 2 hours a piece. It's because they are heart shaped (not clearly visible in the pics, but they are) and that's tricky. The lace-like edges were also quite time consuming, though pretty fun! I kinda want to make more lacy leaves, just for kicks. I really like the effect. Not necessarily the most realistic way to make a Hydrangea leaf, but surely adds a decorative flare to the design.
Most french beaded hydrangeas are made with rounded petals. I wanted mine to be different, so I made them pointed using a new technique that I've learned recently. It looks like Basic Frame, but isn't. I will be teaching it soon in my next Technique Tutorial, which will sadly have to wait until October.
I have a few days before I have to start my next custom order (red poinsettia wreath/garland thingy). So I will be pushing to finish my Peony pattern. I am hoping to have that ready by the 15th.
Have a fabulous week, folks!
I was asked if I would blog a little about the design work that went into my recent commissioned wedding bouquet. Just fair warning, this is going to be a long, wordy post.
Now, I don't have the knowledge to even pretend to be a floral design expert, but I hope that at least going through my thoughts will help others as they make their own designs, and so anyone who goes through all the effort of reading this whole post can gain an understanding of the amount of work that goes into something this large.
I've spent a lot of time in the last year just researching wedding bouquets, because I knew I wanted to make them, and I wanted to make them well. So I've been studying this for a long time. I've watched how florists put them together, how the flowers sit against each other. While looking at pictures of bouquet that were more aesthetically appealing I carefully took note of what types of flowers were being combined, and the effect they had on the bouquet as a whole. Naturally, there are other considerations in play with beaded flowers (weight being the prime issue), but you can learn a lot by studying fresh and fake flower arrangements and bouquets.
This particular bouquet was commissioned, so not all of the choices were mine, but I did play a large part in choosing the flowers. There wasn't any scientific reasoning with my choices. Some of it was just a feeling and I'm not sure I can really even figure out what my reasons were for choosing them.
My customer messaged me inquiring about a Dahlia bouquet with a mix of a bunch of other types of flowers, but she wasn't sure which ones she wanted. She sent me a picture to show me which type of Dahlias she liked best, and the colors that they should be - light pinks and peachy pinks. She also gave me this color palette to work with: coral pink, rose pink, blush pink, peach, and some ivory.
When she mentioned coral pink, my mind went straight to Peonies, which she loved. Now, these particular Dahlias she wanted and Peonies are both large flowers, which means that when made of beads they will be heavy. That means you can't put too many of those in a bouquet together unless you have arms of steel. So, for the rest of the flowers I tried to pick ones that would be a little smaller and lighter.
There are several characteristics I kept in mind while choosing flowers: shape, size, and color. These Dahlias were large and fluffy with multiple layers of long pointed petals. Peonies are large and fluffy with rounder petals and lots of frilly texture. Roses were an easy pick. They pair well with almost any other flower, and they can be made in any size you need. My customer wanted the ruffled roses, so that's what we went with, along with one of the regular roses. Since they were roses, I figured hey, let's go with rose pink for those.
Anemones are smaller lighter flowers with a relatively small number of rounded petals and a nice dark centers for contrast, and they come in Ivory. :) Some Anemones have frilly petals and some have round, I went with round because my Peonies and Ruffled Roses both have frilly-edged petals and I wanted to mix it up.
So there were our main form flowers. With beaded flowers you can't always press flowers together and close up all the holes, so I figured filler flowers would be needed to avoid any gaps between flowers. Billy Balls are cute and pretty popular right now, and they add a new shape. When I mentioned those to my customer she came back with Astilbe and Lavender, which were perfect. They are both longer flowers, easy to make, and they take up space without being too heavy. Though it did add yellow and purple to our colors. The Astilbe we made in a light pink because there were so many other darker pinks and we didn't want those to take over.
For foliage I went with a mix. There's a large mixture of flowers, so it might be a little odd to have just one type and color of leaf. It's just more interesting with a mix. There are long pointy leaves, and short wide pointy leaves, and larger pointy scalloped leaves, and drooping sprigs of small round leaves. And 3 different colors of beads. We mixed these in between flowers instead of making a collar below the flowers to break up the pinks, and to provide a more organic texture.
I hope my scattered and unprofessional thoughts will be of some use to you. :)
It has now been 5 or 6 weeks since I started this project and I am pleased to say that I am finally finished! This has been a great adventure and I certainly hope my customer will be happy with her bouquet.
Here are the finished pictures. :)
The bouquet is 10 inches wide by 11 inches tall and weighs just under 4 lbs. The handle has been wrapped with ivory ribbon and lace. :) It turned out so much better than I even dreamed. I wish I could get married again so I could make my own bouquet out of beaded flowers. But maybe I will just remake my bouquet in beads for a keepsake version. Anyways, I've got plenty of more ideas for bouquets and I definitely plan on making more.
I've been asked to do a blog on the design process for this bouquet, and how I chose the flowers and colors and such, so I will do that in a few days when I have a bit more time to sit down and type out all my thoughts.
I do have two more (much smaller) custom orders. One for a hair vine/hair pin set, and the other for a ruffled rose. I will also be working on some Peonies for my Peony pattern which I will hopefully have done in August.
Thanks everyone for all your kind words and support through this project. You guys are seriously awesome!
After many hours of hard work pushing through this weekend, I did manage to finish my French Beaded Cattelya Orchid Sculpture! I love it. It turned out so much better than I thought it would.
I had the idea to use roots to make the base of sculptures a while back and I thought this would be a good one to try it on. The roots and stems are all wrapped with beads. That took hours to finish. The finished piece measures 14 1/2 inches tall, while the base is 8 x 8 inches. The flowers are each 6 inches wide. I have decided to sell this piece, so it is listed in my Etsy Shop.
Wow. This is the strangest feeling. This Sunflower piece and I have been best friends for 5 weeks now (4 weeks if you subtract the time it took me to make the frame I decided not to use...). It feels weird to be done. Part of me will miss working on it, but the rest of me is just excited to move onto the next project. :)
Here are the pictures of my French Beaded Sunflower Wall Bouquet!! Hope you guys like it. It measures 20 inches tall by approx 12 inches wide.
I also did complete the custom Gerbera Daisy brooch I mentioned last week. Made in silver-lined crystal and Sangria. This pic was taken just before putting the backing on, just in case my customer needed any changes made.
Hmmm... what to make next... I do want to do a standing Sunflower sculpture and I already have some of the petals for it. I'm also wanting to do a sculpture of Asiatic Lilies, or some Hibiscus. But, I'm going on vacation starting this coming Sunday... so maybe I should just make a few small things. Like a hair piece or two and a few necklaces? Or something... I'll figure it out. :)
I will be doing a free tutorial for those fern leaves, so watch for that in the next few weeks.
This is a new hair vine. I went a little crazy with crystals and Freshwater Pearls. But hey, they were just sitting there.
My boys were sick this past week. I don't normally talk about personal matters on this blog, but today I am a little. They had some kind of stomach bug, and it was a hellish four days (and nights). My oldest (he's 5) was starting to look like a skeleton and it was really scary to not be able to help him. I came pretty close to taking him to the hospital for fluids because we just couldn't keep anything down him. His face was sunken in... He slept all the time and we had to wake him up to get him to take a few sips of anything. Sometimes it was difficult to get him to wake up at all, which is just plain frightening. But, he did finally bounce back just a couple days ago. My 2 year old was ill too, but not as bad. They are back to being my darling little stinkers now, but it was pretty rough there for a while.
During the times when I wasn't snuggled up on the couch with a weak and miserable child, or desperately researching more ideas for how I could make them all better again, I worked on some new designs. Even though my house was a complete disaster, I chose to spend my time working on beaded flowers because I was hurt and scared. I really don't like having to watch my children hurt. It's the hardest thing. Some people can handle their children being sick more calmly, but I just really can't. It makes me feel like I need to DO something to fix them, while realizing that there's really not much I can do but wait. And it sucks.
Those who know me know that I have an anxiety disorder. It's something I've had to struggle with my whole life (only 25 years so far, but still... those are the only 25 years I've got) That's one of the reasons why I took up French Beading in the first place. Because creating is healing. It heals the soul and helps to shake loose all those fears and hurts by redirecting energy away from anxieties and chaos and destruction, and into creation and beauty. As you triumph over a difficult design, or complete a large project and stand back and view the final result of your labors, it builds self-esteem. To take raw materials and transform them into something beautiful is quite remarkable, really. As I string and wrap I can feel a little transformation within myself, too, so it has been helping me. Still have a long way to go, but I will get there someday. :)
I'm back with another little Springtime Sculpture that I've just completed. Last week I showed you my Tulip Sculpture, and this week I've got some sweet little Snowdrops!
I almost potted the Snowdrops, but I had another idea for a new type of sculpture base and I just had to try it out. I'm glad I did!
I was experimenting some more with a smaller sized bead, an adventure that I'm rather enjoying. This time I used some 13/0 charlotte cut white beads, and 15/0 light green beads for the leaves. The base is regular old trusty 11/0 beads. It is really strange going from working with the smaller beads to the 11/0's. They suddenly feel gigantic and weird!
The sculpture measures about 7 inches tall and 6 inches wide. :)
This week there have been quite a few people who have subscribed to my blog. Just wanted to take a minute to thank you all for joining! I do hope you will all enjoy reading along. :)
Last night I finished my little purple Tulip Sculpture! I couldn't wait to share it.
This footed design is new. I don't think I've ever seen it used with French Beaded Flowers before and it's the first time I've made it. Experiment successful! That's good because I have several designs similar that I'm wanting to try out. The stems and feet are wrapped with itty bitty 15/0 seed beads on 28g wire. I used 15's because I didn't want to thicken my stems too much but still wanted the sparkly look of beads. For some reason the picture is showing one shade of green... but really the stems are a light green and the leaves are darker green... gosh I need to figure out my camera better!
My sculpture will be going up in my Etsy Shop later today. Hopefully. My little one is sick and miserable and in need of mommy snuggles, so it might not be until later this evening. :S
My next project is going to be another quick one. I have some 13/0 charlotte cut seed beads that I want to use for some snow drops. It will either be a little standalone sculpture similar to this one, or it will be planted in a teacup. :)
I will also be working on my Iris Pattern! So for those of you who have been waiting for it, it's coming soon!
In other news, I am currently closed to custom orders while I work on my new designs and patterns. I will begin taking more orders at the end of April.
I was fortunate this month to receive 5 commissioned orders for my french beaded flowers and accessories. So far I have 3 of them completed and I wanted to share pictures of those projects with you.
The first one was for a set of 3 Gerbera Daisies
The second one was for a mini rose vine.
And the third was a Lady Slipper Orchid brooch which I just completed last night.
Today I am taking a little break before I begin my next order tomorrow - a White Southern Magnolia like the single stem I made here. This one will take about a week-ish to finish. Then I just received another order for an orange Gerbera. Phew.
I hope you guys like my work!
Since around October of last year my Etsy Shop has been painfully slow. I assume it's partially because I sell flowers and those are particularly popular in the winter. But it was pretty sad. I've had a few trickle in here and there, but mostly just slow.
So when I got four (maybe five) custom orders in the space of a week it was pretty dang exciting. I'm booked until the second week of March, after which I will be saving some time for some more wedding designs to hopefully get more of them up for wedding season.
Here's what I've been working on this past week. The first order on my list is a custom set of three Gerbera Daisies. I have two of them made, for the third one I had to order in beads and the Post Office decided to ship them all the way down to Florida, which is so very far off course it's not even funny, and now they are stuck because there are some severe winter storms happening down in the southern US. So... I just ordered more of the same beads and hopefully they won't get accidentally rerouted again. Luckily this order isn't needed until the end of March, so it won't be late.
While I'm waiting for the other beads to arrive, I've started working on my second order so I don't get behind. I will be making another mini rose vine for a previous customer. These roses were made with some itty bitty size 15 beads. :) I really love working with the smaller beads. They're just so dang cute, even if they are hard to see! Makes me want to make all my flowers in 15/0's just to see them miniaturized.
Also on my list is a new design for a Lady Slipper Orchid brooch. It's going to be modeled after the one below (not my picture) just mini sized. Look how crazy-fun it is? I'm pretty excited about it. :)
I also have a custom order for one of my Magnolia stems. That one was a huge surprise! And there's another potential order that hasn't been completely finalized yet.
After that I will be doing some more hair vines, hair clips, and a tiara? I dunno, we'll see where my inspiration flows with that. I have plenty of ideas to work with, and I probably won't get to make all of them... as usual.
In March I will also be producing a PDF for my Bearded Iris, which has been much requested since I first made it a year ago. I have a few little tweaks to improve it, but it will generally be the same.
Add that to all the new spring designs I want to work on, and I've got a full plate! But that's just the way I like it, so all is well. I look forward to sharing the finished pictures of my projects!
Well hello there, my friends! I am happy to announce that I have finally published my next PDF Pattern! I held a vote and my Ruffled Rose design was the most requested pattern.
I've been working on this baby for a couple weeks, and I truly hope you guys will enjoy it. Find the PDF in my Pattern Shop and on Etsy!
Unlike my previous patterns, this one does not contain all technique tutorials. It assumes the reader is familiar with the Basic Frame and Scallops. If you do not know the Basic Frame you can find a free tutorial here. If you are unfamiliar with Scallops a separate PDF Tutorial can be purchased in my Pattern Shop and on Etsy.
As a side note I have also published a new free tutorial for Stem Wrapping.
Hello everyone! It's been a busy few weeks, both personally and business wise. My oldest is turning 5 so we've been in preparation for that, and we bought a mini van! I have been car-less and stuck at home for the past 6 years since my husband had to take our only car to work every day, so I'm pretty dang excited about that. But I thought I'd drop by and post some pics of the last few projects I've done.
First is a custom rose I made for a customer. It's going to be a Valentine's Day present. :)
While I had roses on the brain I figured I should have at least one red rose in my shop that was ready to purchase instead of just custom orders. I decided to line the petals with sparkly white beads just to be a little different than what I've made before. This one is available in my Etsy shop. :)
Next I worked on a couple wedding hair combs for my new bridal line. I've had these petals and pieces laying around for a while just waiting to be finished. I still want to make a Lily, Calla Lily, and a Mini Rose comb and hair pins, possibly Dendrobium Orchid comb and hair pins as well. Then I will move on to Boutonnieres and hair vines. Lots of work to do still to finish up my bridal line. (After doing my business taxes I decided it would be much easier to just have one shop, so everything is now going into LaurenHCreations. *Sigh*)
My current project is a new pattern that I will hopefully have available beginning of February. The design I'm doing is for my Ruffled Roses, which was the most requested pattern this past month. At the same time I will be producing a separate Technique Tutorial for Scallops. Hopefully separating the technique tutorials and flower patterns will help me produce my patterns faster. Both will be going up in my Pattern Shop soon so watch for the announcement!
Here's what I've been working on the past... month? Sorry, the photography kinda sucks. I had a hard time finding a space big enough for the whole thing.
I grew up in the Southern US. In our yard we had this huge Magnolia tree that I practically lived in. Every day for hours my friends and I would play in this tree. So this piece brings back a bit of my childhood. Needless to say, I don't think I can sell it. It's just too precious. However, while I was trying to figure out the best configuration for my branches, I did get a made to order listing in my Etsy shop for a smaller segment with one large bloom and a tiny bud.
Based on the feedback I've received on my Facebook page, the ruffled rose pattern won the vote so that is the pattern that I will be putting together in February. I will also be doing a separate Technique tutorial for Scallops and Fringe. I've decided to separate the technique tutorials and the patterns simply because I'm going to be using some of the same techniques and it makes no sense to keep showing it over and over again. Then it would be redundant for those who already know the techniques or for those who have purchased my previous tutorials. So, I will have a separate one for those who need it.
March will be the Iris.
By the way... I redesigned my site. Weebly (my website builder) has only a few limited themes that I think would fit, but I think I'm finally happy with it. I even designed an official logo. :)
I've been pretty quiet this month. Mostly because I was determined not to post until I had something finished to show. So now I present the largest piece I've done since January... a French Beaded Poinsettia Swag (garland?) that I made with two light blue Poinsettias, pine branches with pine cones, and a bunch of white berries and mixed leaves.
It was a wonderful piece to work on. I have some pictures of it laying flat, but it does hang on the wall. :) It's going to be staying with me.
My favorite piece to make in this were the pine tree branches and the pine cones. I had a few hanks of those green bugle beads and I thought they'd make excellent pine needles. :) I want to make more just for kicks.
I also made this:
I was originally going to put the white poinsettia in with the light blue ones in my swag, but I didn't like it and thought the piece was getting too big for me to reasonably finish in time. So I kept it separate. This little white and gold Poinsettia is up in my Etsy shop. This piece measures 5 inches wide and 7 inches tall, smaller than my previous Poinsettia Sculpture. It can sit on a shelf or it can be used as a Christmas tree topper on a smaller sized tree. (Find it in my Shop - laurenhcreations.etsy.com)
Just so you know, I do have a sale going on in my Etsy Shop this week!
The code will work with any purchase, including in stock and made to order listings. However, made to order items purchased will not be ready in time for Christmas. But, I don't run sales very often so if you wanted any custom flowers now is a good time to order!
Also... I am almost done with my Gerbera Pattern. Watch for that in my shop and on this website later this week! FINALLY!
Poinsettias are also called Christmas Stars or Winter Roses. Their brightly colored leaves are often referred to as the flower, but really the flowers are the tiny bulbs in the center and the bright red "petals" are leaves (or bracts) that turn colors when the temperature changes.
They are symbolic of good cheer and success and are believed to bring wishes of mirth and celebration.
Last week I had a little burst of anticipation for the upcoming Christmas season so I started work on designing a Poinsettia pattern. I've made some small ones before in a wreath I made last year:
But I wanted something larger and I wanted to change the centers to be more accurate representations of the real flowers. So, here is my brand new design!
I formed the bead-wrapped stem into a base so it can stand on it's own! I really like making these sculptures. I've tried a few before but was never completely satisfied with the end result. But I am quite happy with this one. It is very likely that I will make another one in white and gold. Maybe even a blue or pink one just for kicks and depending on how much time I have.
The "flower" measures 7 inches across and the total height of the piece is 8 1/2 inches.
Lauren's Creations is moving to a new home on the web! I'm moving my website over piece by piece. Come drop on by the new website - BeadandBlossom.com to see how it's coming along! My shop here on Lauren's Creations will be taken down Oct. 30th to prepare for the move. It will reopen on the new site on November 1st!
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.