In my last post I shared pictures of a custom Orchid plant that I made and mentioned that I was going to be publishing the pattern soon. I finally got it up! It took longer than I anticipated. It's 22 pages long and has 96 pictures. That's a lot of pictures and pages for a single pattern. In fact, my book, Christmas Collection, was 111 pages and had somewhere around 450 pictures. So, this one pattern is close to 1/5th of my book in length. But it also took longer because I had to remake one of the larger petals for better close-up pictures... and there are eight colors you guys. That's not easy to do. And I was already "done". You know that feeling? When you finish something, and you're done and you close this box in your brain where that project was, but then you have to reopen it and make it again... it's not my favorite thing. So I had to kind of pump myself up for it.
Okay, details. The flowers are around 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) wide. The plant itself is approximately 18 inches (45.7 cm) tall - not including the pot. The pattern is set up so the blue shading in the example is optional. That type of shading in the blue one is very complex. I wish I could give exact bead counts, but there's too many variables that will change how many beads you use that it's just not possible to do that and get good results. For one, beads aren't always the same size. Even if they are all 11/0, beads made by different manufacturers, and even different lots from the same manufacturer, may be slightly different in size. Secondly, French Beading isn't like bead weaving, where if you do the stitch correctly it will look exactly like the pattern. Each artist has their own "technique", or uses a different tension on the wire that can affect the size, shape, and look of the finished pieces. It also affects how many beads and how much wire is used. This is why I always recommend that you purchase extra materials for your project. It's also why you should cut extra wire. If a pattern tells you to cut a 12" length of wire... well you might use 14 inches, or 11 inches... French Beading is not an exact art form. So unfortunately, giving exact bead counts just won't work well and will cause more frustration. However, in the back of the pattern I have a special section with what I hope will be helpful notes about how I accomplished that type of shading. There are close up pictures of the petals, as well as pictures of the beads I used.
You'll also find that each petal in the pattern is made in pure white. I've done this to help you plan your own shading patterns. Caren Cohen taught me a wonderful way to plan shading patterns. Make the petal once in a single color, then scan it on your copier, print it out and color it. Now, this also won't give you exact bead counts for your second petal, but it can help you get a good idea, and help you decide if you actually like your shading pattern before you make it out of beads. So, you can print those pages from the pattern and color them.
So, for anyone wanting a copy of this pattern, it is available in my Pattern Shop!
Alrighty, so, I did something else this week that was completely unplanned. While I was pumping myself up to remake a petal for pictures, I decided to go ahead and make a completely different tutorial. This is a free one, because it's just a simple variation of Continuous Loops that I used to make a French Beaded Bezel around a stone that didn't have a hole so I could use it for a flower center. This is an idea that sprouted in my brain several years ago, and thanks to my One-A-Day project, I finally had a chance to test it.
I did put the tutorial in PDF format, though, because I find that all the pictures from my blog get lifted and posted elsewhere.
Download your free copy here. The PDF just teaches the flower center, not the full flower. It's intended more to teach an idea that you can alter as needed for whatever type of stone you're bezeling, though it will teach you exactly how to make a beaded bezel around a 12mm Swarovski Rivoli. :) Enjoy!
Okay, I realized after typing the above paragraph that I haven't updated here about my One-A-Day project since... February... (yikes!) so here's a picture dump to get me caught up!
And now I am on to pink flowers for July! After that I will still have 5 months worth of work to do... so I'm going back around the colors to make leaves and whatever else I need to fill in areas and whatnot. It's already around 18 inches wide, so I imagine it will get a little bit bigger. It's just going to be a huge color wheel wreath, that's for sure.
So I've been doing lots of fun stuff for this project, so I will be pulling some of these flowers out to show you some weird ways to use or embellish French Beading techniques. But that will be in other blog posts because this one is already way too long.
As for what I'm doing next... well I'm doing secret Spring Collection work... and I'm doing more work for my relaunch (on my new website) that will hopefully be happening in a few months. I've got a really great "something" that I'm working on for that and I can't wait to show you!
Happy Beading everyone!
Hello there wonderful readers! I am here today with pictures and details about my final two custom orders.
First, let's talk about the Phalaenopsis Orchid. My customer wanted me to remake a live orchid that was given to her as a Mother's Day gift. This variety of Moth Orchid is called a Blue Mystique. If you haven't seen these before, then you need to google them because they are fabulous and crazy. Well, some of them are crazy, some are more plain. They have this almost watercolor-like effect, and I love it so much. These Orchids are, unfortunately, not naturally blue, but actually a white orchid that's been infused with dyes. So it only blooms blue the first time. After that, it goes back to white. So she wanted to preserve the blue permanently with a French Beaded version.
This one is a redesign of my old pattern that I made years ago for another customer. It took a great deal of effort, and I'm sure you can guess why. There are eight shades of blue (and purplish blues) in the petals. It was insane. But oh so much fun!
I was originally going to save this pattern for a future book, but I've decided to go ahead and publish the pattern as a PDF instead. I am nearly finished with it, so watch for a separate post announcing it's release... maybe later this weekend or next week? I seriously just have a couple pictures I have to retake (which means remaking a piece that I'd rather not have to remake, ha!), edit, and plug in the file. Then it's done. So... very soon.
Now let's talk about the Christmas Tree. My very last order. This one was a bitter-sweet project as it's the last piece I will sell for a very long time. I'm a little sad that I won't be making flowers for other people anymore, but very excited (my husband thinks I'm a little too excited) about my next steps.
I really love Christmas (which is why I used it as the theme for my first book) and I love decorating Christmas Trees. These smaller beaded versions are no different, so I adore making them, despite having to make what felt like a million Continuous Loops. I used the pattern I recently published in my first book "French Beading Patterns Volume One: Christmas Collection". The tree is approximately 12 inches tall (around 30 cm for my metric unit using readers). My customer wanted a green tree with ornaments in teal, peacock blue, blue, with gold accents. I had so much fun picking out beads for the ornaments. Isn't bead shopping one of the best parts of being a beader? Just look at these marvelous sparklies! Some are Czech, others are Swarovski, or metal beads.
And here are pictures of the finished tree!
There are some differences in the ornaments from my tree in Christmas Collection. I used gold bead caps on some of the ornaments, just to make them a little extra fancy. And I made some teardrop beads into angels.
The little teddy bear! In one of the pictures above you can see a toy train and a little drum, too. Do you see the gift boxes? I made these a little differently than the ones in my book, which I actually purchased pre-made. For these new ones I purchased colored foil paper in my customer's colors, and wrapped wooden cubes in a couple different sizes, using hot glue to glue the edges down. I hate hot glue with a passion, but I think they turned out nicely.
And this last picture shows the tree before I added any presents.
If you want to watch a video of this Christmas Tree spinning while an instrumental version of "O Christmas Tree" plays in the background, you can find that on my Facebook page.
I want to make a billion more! So you'll likely see more of these, or different versions of these, sometime in the future. I want to at least make one for each of my kids.... someday.
So, and end to an era, but the beginning of a new one. Because I am no longer selling my work, I thought this would be a great opportunity to do something I've been wanting to do for a very long time. I'm going to be moving my website to a new domain name and re-launching my business. I'm a little scared since re-branding is risky business, but I'm taking the plunge anyways. The only reason I haven't done this before is because of how well-known my website is. But it needs to be done for many reasons. Not going to reveal the new domain yet, since it's not functional or finished. It's a massive work in progress that will take me several months to complete, but very necessary to help my website and business perform better. So if you don't hear from me, just know that I'm redesigning and moving my website and taking other steps necessary to move my business forward into the realms of teaching. Until the re-launch is finalized, this website will remain up and functional.
I will be planning, designing, creating, recording, writing, photographing... oh it's going to be great! Time to move forward!
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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