I've been wanting to do some tutorials for a while. I posted one for fern leaves a while back, but then I moved my website over to Weebly and I couldn't find an import option so I lost all my old posts.
I'm happy to announce that I'll be starting this up again. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a new tutorial once a week, or every other week as my family and production schedule allow, until I run out of things to talk about. They will be tutorials that teach the basic techniques of french beading, and possibly a few projects as well. I'm not quite at the stage where I publish or sell my actual flower patterns... though I do plan on doing that sometime down the road. These tutorials are just to teach you the techniques - which will enable you to make your own patterns.
I published two tutorials today featuring Continuous Loops and Continuous Wraparound Loops.
You can find these tutorials in a tab up top, and I hope you find them useful. If you have any questions or feedback for me regarding my tutorials, feel free to contact me.
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!
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 about six years now, and publishing patterns and tutorials for three years.
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