Eeeek! It doesn't look like I'm going to have this finished for January. Hopefully it won't bleed too much into February, as I have another big project planned and I don't want that to bleed into March because I have another really big project for March. Oh boy.
Last time I updated about the wall hanging I'm working on, it looked like this:
Since then I have put in a lot of work. The diamond frame was just there to help me visualize. I don't think they sell pre-made oval frames, and that's what I wanted, so I'm making one.
One of the things I've done is start the frame. I only have the back piece made so far, and I have several more pieces which will take me several more days to complete. It's a complex thing. So, after a few days I had this:
I chose to stagger the flowers a bit, just to be interesting. I made a large blue butterfly. I had this yellow rose garland that I was working on to help dress it up a bit and add in some color. Something about the garland was bothering me though, and I couldn't put my finger on it. I asked my Facebook followers to take a look for me and give their opinions. They all like the garland. But, I dunno. Something is still bothering me about it. I tried remaking the leaves in a darker green, but it still just doesn't sit right. I think it distracts from the Callas too much, maybe? I don't know, but I did end up deciding to leave them off. :( Sorry, guys.
But then, it was back to being plain and boring. So... I figured I'd just dress up the frame a bit! Originally it was just going to be rather plain, with three or four rows of beaded ovals all wired together.
Last night I made 24 of these:
It was quite a task to make them all the same size. They still aren't exactly the same size, but I'm not a machine. I'm just a person with basic tools and some wire wrapping skills. But I really like them. :) I'll have to file down the ends a little bit. I also cut out a section of the frame and made it a bit smaller so it would fit more closely around the flowers.
So, here's what I have for the frame so far. This is not complete. Not at all. The oval I have here is just the section that's going against the wall, with a built in loop for hanging. I want the decorative part of the frame to stick out a bit, so it won't be against the wall. I also have to add in these support wires to wire the flowers to and help the frame keep shape a bit better. These support armatures will be soldered to another oval the same size as the one I already have, and the ends of that oval will be soldered together as well. Then I'll be wiring that oval with the support wires to the bottom one. That's the support structure of my wall hanging. The decorative frame will be going on top of that. I'm thinking I'm going to make three more ovals wrapped with beads, and these swirls will be wired in between the 2nd and 3rd ones.
So the swirls are in the wrong place, but I put them here for now to get a feel for the piece. :)
I've also finished all my leaves. So, here is what I have now:
I really like it! Woohoooo! If I start getting ambitious, I might add in another butterfly, a smaller one in peach or some other soft, pastel color.
On a side note, I did business taxes for the first time a few days ago. It was insane. I really need to keep better books. But I think now that I know what to keep track of and all the different categories I need to separate purchases into, it will be much easier for me. Yay for learning!
First off, if you haven't seen it yet, I'm running my first Giveaway! Up for grabs is a $25 Gift Certificate for one of my online shops. Visit the Giveaway blog post for details on how to enter!
I'm trying to promote it as much as possible to make sure everyone sees it and to maximize participation. It's my first Giveaway, and I don't have any idea how many people to expect. If there are a large number of entries, then next time I'll probably have more than one prize.
Okay, time for my big project update. Whenever I see some magnificent work of art, I always wonder about the background work that the artisan went through to create it. It's such a complex process and it fascinates me. Posting about it helps me to collect my thoughts as well, and sometimes my brain thinks of a new idea or a fix as I type it all out. There's generally a great deal of information, so I can't really post it all in one post as it would end up being one mother of a post, and I'd probably forget details by the end. So I hope you guys don't mind the frequent posts.
Last time I posted about it, I had just finished the three Calla stems that will be the focal of the piece.
Since then I've been making leaves. I found a frame I can use to help me have a visual of a border, just keep in mine that I will be building my own frame, and it's going to be an oval, not a diamond as shown. I thought about using the diamond one, but I think I'm going to prefer an oval with the Calla Lilies' shape.
I've still got a few leaves to make, though how many will depend on the final size of the frame I make. I want to fill up the space without adding too much weight, and without overwhelming the Calla's in green.
Once I got this far I started feeling a little dismayed. There's an awful lot of green already. And the white lilies aren't very bright in contrast. And the frame will be black. My brain has been bouncing around with ideas trying to figure out a good fix that won't extend my hopeful deadline too much. I really wanted to have this done by February so I could move onto the next project that I really want to make. But I also want to do this right. It's a frustrating predicament.
While I was thinking this through, I took a little break and tried out a few new designs. Continuing along with my Calla Lily theme, the first thing I tried was a wrap-around cuff bracelet.
As you can see I stopped wrapping the stem half way through because I realized that it didn't work very well. I still like the design concept, just not the type of flower I used. I don't think the shape of a Calla works well with it. I can't really make the flower smaller, or the stem would look too thick in comparison. And the Calla just rises so far off the wrist that I think it would be bothersome. So I'm just going to try a wrap around beaded cuff later with a different type of flower.
Then last night I had a really good idea for a bridal hair comb, and I figured I should get it out of my head. The Brides, they are a-shoppin, so this is a good time for it. Plus, I had a goal to list at least one new item every week, and I haven't done that yet this week. So watch for this little beauty going up in the next few days.
It's not a Calla Lily, though my head is still trying to figure out a good arrangement for a trio of Callas on a comb. But, this design did help me to think of a possible fix for my wall hanging, as you'll see in a minute.
Back to the wall hanging: One thought I've been toying with is to take out the long, dark green leaves in the background (save them for another project), and just use the lighter Calla Lily leaves to fill in the empty spaces. That way I can have the lush greenery that's expected with flowers, without all the background clutter.
But then it might end up looking too plain, without enough shape or size variation. My frame isn't going to be anything super special. This is the first time I've attempted to make a frame from scratch, so I'm wanting to keep it simple. Basically, there will be the support frame with an built in hanging loop. Attached to that will be the outer, decorative frame, which is just going to be a set of three ovals wrapped with black beads and (somehow?) wired together. So it's pretty plain too.
So, in order to combat the "plainness" issue, I'm going to try out a little something to embellish a bit. Here's where my previous hair comb comes into play. The leaf sprigs I made to accent the peach flower in the comb reminded me of a rose bush, and I thought... why not make a little mini flower garland to go along the bottom of the inside of the frame. I might make another one for the top too, just to balance it out.
So, I've made up a set of my mini roses to make the garland(s) with. Not sure if this is the fix I'm looking for, but it's worth a shot.
I also thought that I could possibly make a french beaded butterfly to flutter amongst the flowers. But, I have a hard time making butterflies that look real enough and not like something in a little girl's imagination. I'll play with it a bit, though, and see if I can come up with something a little better.
It looks like I'm going to need to start making my frame before I can go much further. Then I'll know how plain it really looks, how many Calla leaves I need to make to fill it in well, and whether or not the yellow roses will look good beside it. I've got a ways to go yet, but I'm still really excited about it! I can't wait to see it finished!
Yay! It's finally time for my very first Giveaway! I'm hosting it through my blog, so be sure to check back for updates!
Giveaway begins today! January 22nd! It will go through Monday, January 27th, and the winner will be selected randomly and announced at 12pm Mountain Time on January 28th!
The prize? A $25 (USD) Gift Certificate good in either my Zibbet or Etsy shops! This gift certificate will never expire and It can be used towards any purchase - in stock or custom order! You can buy something for yourself, or a gift for your friend!
To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post answering these questions:
First, how did you hear about my Giveaway? (ex: Facebook, Twitter, a friend?)
Second, What is your favorite item in my Zibbet Shop?
Remember, winner is announced January 28th at 12pm (noon) Mountain Time. To be sure you receive the announcement, you could subscribe to my blog on the right-hand sidebar, or you can Like Lauren's Creations on Facebook, or follow me on Google+ or you can just mark the date on your calendar and check back!
The winner will have 48 hours to email me and claim the prize! Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the winner does not contact me in that time period, a new one will be drawn!
Only one entry per person!
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.
I realized a few days ago that it's half way through January and I hadn't presented a completed Calla Lily design. Those roses and rings got me a little side tracked.
I've had a few ideas bouncing around in my head, so I figured it would be an excellent time to sit down and make a couple of them.
Now, I've been looking at a lot of white beads, while working on the spathes (petals) for the large Calla Lilies I'm making for my wall hanging. So I decided to switch it up a bit and use a different color. I almost did pink, but I've been using a lot of pink lately too and my shops are starting to look really light and princess-y. I guess that's good for Valentine's Day, but kind of boring for me and I don't want to give people the idea that that's all I can make. :)
That's Hyacinth Orange. It's very bright. :) The role color plays in a design is very interesting to me. This orange gives the design a more whimsical look. Whereas if I had used white or pink it would have given a different feel. I like it. :) Naturally, as with just about all my products, I am more than willing to take custom orders for these. So if you don't like the orange, no problem!
Next up is a pair of dangle earrings. These weren't on my original Calla Lily idea list, and I only thought of the idea just yesterday. Sat right down to make them. Yes, they are pink. It just seemed like the thing to do. I think I'm going to make maybe two more pairs of these for this month, in different colors to show a bit of variety.
Of course, now my head is rolling with all the flower pins and dangle earrings I could make. :S (Oooo... Butterflies! Ruffled dangles! Striped earrings!) This always happens. One design opens up a door of other possibilities, and soon I'm completely off track from where I was originally planning to be. *sigh* Too much creativity, dang brain!
Meanwhile, my brain is trying to work out the most attractive arrangement for some small Calla Lilies on a hair comb, while keeping it all light weight. :S
Hey folks! I'm back again with more of my french beaded flowers. Hope you're ready for a bunch of pictures!
I had a custom order recently for a set of 6 bridesmaids rings. These babies are flying all the way to Austrailia!
Once those were finished, I started again on the calla lilies I need for a wall hanging I'm making. This wall hanging is my big project for this month, and it's falling under my Flower of the Month Challenge. :)
I just need one more lily "petal" and then I can start on the giant leaves. I do have one or two more Calla Lily designs I want to do this month. Smaller ones. Much smaller. :) So while I'm working on my wall hanging, I'll take a few breaks to make those as well.
I mentioned that my flower of the month for January is the Calla Lily.
In the Victorian Language of the Flowers, Calla Lily's mean "magnificent beauty". Well known for their elegance, they are a popular wedding flower.
They come in a variety of colors: white, yellow, orange, red, pink, maroon, purple, and super dark purple. Most varieties grow 12-24 inches tall, but some can reach 4 feet! They are a tropical plant native to Africa. The showy, trumpet shaped part of the flower is called the spathe, and is actually a leaf. The real flowers are in the finger-like center, which is called a spadix. Their green leaves are arrow-shaped and sometimes have white flecks. Guys, I feel a little betrayed, because they aren't even lilies. They are classified as aroids - whatever the heck those are, right?
They are also poisonous. :) So... don't eat them.
So, that's what I'm going to be making this month. I finally got all the pieces I need to make them, and while I was gathering all the information for a custom order that came in today, I was able to make up one "spathe".
It's basically just one giant, pointed petal, laced as many times as necessary (4 times for me) to help it hold its shape after it's been curled up.
I'm using pearl white seed beads and 26g white wire, with 32g antique white wire for the lacing.
I took the pictures on a beige background, hoping that would help the white petals show up better, but it doesn't seem to have worked very well. You may have to tilt your screen a bit. :S Sorry.
I think I'm going to be making two of my Calla's this size, and then one a little bit larger. (I need three for the wall hanging I'm making). I think I'm also leaning towards leaving off the vase, and go for a more wild flower look. But I will be doing either fern leaves or really long and thin leaves for the background. :) Click Here for the previous post, if you didn't get to read it yet.
This is a project box I use to easily transport all my supplies and keep them nicely together. Ask me how nice it looks at the end of a project... haha.
No, I haven't yet finished the bracelet I've been working on. But I'm getting closer. I finished all the leaves. Now I just need to attach all three strands together. Hopefully I'll have it done soon so I can try out my first giveaway.
I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I was working with a customer about a custom order. So, for the next 3-5 days I will be working on a set of 6 bridesmaids rings. Modeled after this one, in pink:
Then I will be back to work on my Calla's and bracelet. :)
[Just a little side note: It's only 9 days into January, and I've had 4 orders! I'm very excited! 4 orders in one whole month was my previous record (which happened last summer) and it's been fairly slow since then. So, I'm pretty dang happy right now. :) I sure hope it continues! Especially as we enter wedding season. :) Woohoo!!]
I'm posting this a little late on my blog, but each month I will be doing a Flower of the Month challenge, where I or my readers pick a flower for me to create and I'll base most of my designs around that flower.
For January, that flower is the Calla Lily. It's one of my most favorite flowers - so much in fact that I used it as my wedding flowers.
So I ordered everything I need for them, but it seems as though may companies I regularly order from had a long Christmas vacation. I'm a little ashamed to say I didn't think of that before I ordered. So, they're going to be a little later than I'd like. I decided to work on my new Sophie bracelet in the meantime.
I haven't finished the first one, and since I'm going to be short on time this month, I decided to just wait on finishing the original - which I was making for myself anyways - and just start working on the one I'm planning on featuring in my first Facebook Giveaway.
It's not quite finished yet, but it was time to update my blog, so here it is in progress. All I have left to do is add leaves on the last strand of flowers, then attach all the strands together so they don't flop around. I used a slightly different construction method than with the original, and it was much easier and faster.
I used vintage seed beads again, size 13/0 in Opal colors: violet, plum, and white. The flower centers are made using some small brown glass pearls. It will measure 7 1/4" long when finished.
I should have it finished in a couple more days. And that's about when my orders will be arriving. So it all works out well.
Here's the part where I need you to contain your laughter. Haha. The big project that I'm planning for January, using Calla Lilies, is actually a large wall hanging. I've been trying to draw it so I can get a good visual of what my design concept is going to look like before I make it... but I kinda suck at drawing. Hahaha... so I tried in Photoshop, but was having issues. So... I turned to regular old Windows Paint to help me... I kinda suck at Paint too, but not nearly as bad as drawing.
Please note that this is a design concept. It's like a rough draft, and will probably be changing a bit as I go along.
So. I'll be making three Calla Lilies with pearl white beads. And several of their giant leaves. I might even include some large ferns or long blade leaves in the back, just to add a little extra fluff. But that's just a maybe. I chose to go with the classic white Calla Lilies, with dark green leaves, a black frame, and some gold accents.
I also can't decide if I'm going to include the vase or not, which I would be making also with french beading techniques, out of gold beads. I could also just leave the vase off and use some more leaves to cover the stems. We shall see.
The frame I'm going to be making... hopefully... out of wire. Yeah. Wire! I didn't draw in the support armatures that will go behind the flowers, and the "painting" probably isn't much to scale. I decided on an oval frame as I thought the shape would complement the calla lilies the best. And since this is my first wire frame from scratch, I'm going to keep it simple. The drawing shows a gold ring in the center of the black ones, but I'm not sure about that one. I might just keep it black. This will certainly be my largest project to date. I hope I can still finish it in January, even with the later-than-planned shipments.
If I fail at making the frame from wire, I'm going to be searching for an oval wood frame to fit it that I can play with a bit. Either way, I'm very excited!
I may take a break during my long project to make a little calla lily shawl pin. I have an idea for one and I think I'd like to try it! :) I'll also be able to take pictures of just the calla lily stems to offer them as a made to order item in my shops! It time allows I might make another one in a different color just to show some variation.
Hello everyone! I am Lauren Harpster, the designer behind Lauren's Creations. I am a 28 year old wife, and a mother to three adorable little kids. I've been making French Beaded Flowers for six years now, and teaching French Beading through my website for about four years. I hope you'll join me on my blog so you, too, can Learn the Art of French Beading.
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