A week or so ago I was able to go on a little family vacation to California to celebrate Mother's Day with my in-laws and my wedding Anniversary. We very rarely get to take vacations, so it was a nice little treat. I did take all of my work with me and I beaded at night after the little ones were asleep.
While we were there we visited the San Diego Zoo. We go every time we are there. I like the flowers they have growing just as much as the animals. Though I did take more pictures of the flowers than the animals. People were looking at me like I was crazy. Some of the flowers I could identify, some I couldn't. There were so many varieties and colors of Hibiscus there. Some gigantic, some tiny, some doubled, some multi colored, some single colored. I really need to get my hands on a Hibiscus flower so I can take it apart and study it.
We also visited an aquarium there. Ocean plants are weird.
I'm nearly done with the custom wedding bouquet I've been working on. I started the assembly process yesterday. I've finished the cascade section, and am now working on the main section, which will take longer. I'm wrapping all the branches and flowers with embroidery floss (and using it for assembly). It's not completely necessary since the only place it's visible is underneath the bouquet, but I thought it would be a nice touch. And it really does help with assembly. Look at all those fillers! I am so excited to show you all the finished piece next week.
Hmm. I don't think I showed pictures of the ruffled leaves I made for the bouquet. We decided to use the crystal ones (with the bugle bead ruffles) and the white ones with the sewn-on veins. Then we just did plain ivory leaf branches, instead of the darker ivory ruffled ones shown here.
I mentioned last post about a new technique called Filigree. I did make a sample of those leaves, but my customer didn't like them in the bouquet, so I'll be saving that for another project. You can see the sample leaf I made here - it's the open metallic silver one in the bottom right. Very fun technique. It's made very much like an idea I had for a sample I made for a customer a few months back. Same general technique, just with spaces instead of full coverage.
I've also dismantled another flower to study. This time it's a flower out of my "garden". I actually really struggle with live gardening - particularly the "live" part - but this rose bush must be very hardy, since it's come back year after year since I planted it. I want to plant more of them just because they have magic that helps them survive my black thumb of death. They are such a pretty color, too.
Anyways, so I picked some of these roses (one full bloom and a bud) so I could measure all the pieces and whatnot. When I picked the bud it was very tightly closed, still a little cone shape. But when I was about to snap a picture of it, it suddenly decided it was time to bloom and popped open. Right in front of me. Did you know that flowers make a sound when they first open? It was the cutest little "poof" I've ever heard. Then I just sat there and watched for a few seconds while the petals kept spreading open. What a fascinating thing to witness! Wish I'd had the sense to hit the record button, but I was too busy watching with wide-eyed wonder.
Don't ask how I got my background so perfect for some of those shots. I have no idea. It's almost time to head up the mountains nearby to photograph the wildflowers up there. I've been wanting to make beaded replicas of those for years.
Next weekend I'm hoping to have more teaser pics of some of the beaded berries I've been working on with Suzanne Steffenson. It will probably be early June for that tutorial release.
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 teaching French Beading through my website for about four years.
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