This is a crazy week. Hopefully the last one I'll have for a while. This Sunday is the performance of the little children's program that we've been working on writing and planning, and practicing for over a month. We have our final practice on Saturday, and a pizza part afterwards as an incentive to come. Then the presentation on Sunday and a celebration afterwards to reward the kids and the teachers for all their hard work. So, it's been nuts. I'm so nervous I can hardly sleep and I have this ever present knot in my stomach. Being in front of large crowds is so far outside my comfort zone it's not even funny, but I have to do it because it's part of the job, and I know some of the kids are scared too. So we'll just be scared together, and hopefully no one will cry or puke on stage. Hopefully the kids will remember their cues, but if not then they are still cute. The music will go well at least, and that's the best part.
I'm also working on my final custom order this year. This one is for a wall hanging with Poinsettias, pine cones, and other fillers. Here is what I have finished so far.
Two red Poinsettias, and two of the three pine cone branches. I just need one more pine cone, which I will be making after a training meeting tonight, then I can put the third branch together. After I have that third branch done, then the hardest parts of this piece will be finished. I also have some of the other filler leaves, but they aren't finished. I need to lace them, and make twice as many green ones. And then two other types of filler branches, including some sparkly fluffier fern-looking leaves and some white crystal berries. But I still might have this project finished before the deadline.
I think after I finish this piece I would like to work on a winter wreath. I have this little pine cone branch that I made for the PDF Pattern for the design, and I want to make a bunch more branches and either make a candle ring, or use them in a larger wreath with more poinsettias and berries. Hmm. Not sure. I'm also experimenting with Pumpkins. Haha, but they are not going well so far. I was hoping to have a workable design so I could make a fall wreath or garland with those, but they are being such a pain in the patootie that I'm not sure I'll ever want to make more than one, if I can even get the first one to work at all! And it's just a mini pumpkin! Eventually I shall succeed in making something that at least kind of looks like a pumpkin. Just so it won't beat me. Lilies, hibiscus, a new rose idea, boxes in so many shapes and sizes, orchids, more bouquets, cake toppers, ornaments.... So many projects I'm dying to get my hands on that I can hardly choose which one should get my attention first. Some of them have been waiting since Spring, others since last year... some since I started french beading. Plus a couple projects from earlier this year that I didn't get to finish. And I love them all. I have too many ideas and not nearly enough time to make them all.
I guess I'm just going to have to live forever.
With much ado, I am much relieved to announce the arrival of my new French Beaded Flower Pattern - Peonies! YAY!!! It's only two weeks late ............. It has been listed on this website in my Pattern Shop and in my Etsy Pattern Shop. :)
However, because it is late, I'm offering it at 20% off until Sept. 23rd. :) Sorry it took so long, you guys, and thank you for your patience with me!
If you look at the pictures carefully, you might notice that there are two shades of green. I didn't even realize I was using two greens until I was putting it together. Haha... so that was unintentional, but I kinda like it.
I've also been working on Poinsettias for a custom order. I just need a couple more petals then I can put those together. I will have pictures after they are assembled.
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!
Oh September, how I look forward to your last day! The days are just blasting past so quickly, but there is still so much to do. I've finished the written part of my Peony Pattern, now I just need pictures of all the pieces. Of course, in order to have pictures of them I need to finish making them all. I'm about half-way done with that part. So it really will be coming soon! AAAHHHH!
I am also working on my final two custom orders for the year. I've already finished this mini daffodil, which was made to be an embroidery applique. It's just 2 inches wide. (I think next time I make one this small I will use size 15/0 beads.)
Right now I am making a Hydrangea stem with some fancy edged leaves. I need two more of those leaves (which have a netted edging that looks like lace) and two or three times as many flowers. I'm using blue, light blue, and white beads for the flowers.
After I've finished the Hydrangea I will be starting on a bigger order - a custom Poinsettia Garland just like this one I made last year, only with red Poinsettias. I've given myself some extra time to finish this one so I won't be as rushed.
Now, I was going to be taking a break beginning mid September, but since these custom orders will have me busy through mid October... I went ahead and closed my shop to custom orders. Once these two are done I will be dedicating my free time to new designs. There are so many flowers and ideas I've been dying to try but haven't had the time simply because I've had so many custom orders. I'm not complaining, but as an artist and a business person it's sometimes hard to balance between making what pleases and heals the soul and what my customers want. Sometimes they aren't the same. Sometimes inspiration hits and it's frustrating that I don't have time to make it, and that little inspiration bug just keeps tugging at you and digging down deeper, and then more ideas just keep building up. So, I'm taking time off for a little artistic exploration, and also because I'm going to be busier with my other responsibilities (that children's presentation I mentioned in a previous post will be at the end of the month, and then we have to do fall activities and prep for the new year in addition to the stuff we have to do every week. And you know, I also have my own family and home to take care of). I will still be producing new patterns and tutorials, and I will still be making flowers and hair pieces to sell in my shop, or to keep/ give away. With those I can work at my own pace without feeling the rush and pressure that comes from custom work. I really do need a little break. These last few months I've felt like, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite Hobbits, "butter spread over too much bread."
I will start taking custom orders again in January, albeit at a slower pace. :)
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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