Friday, April 23, 2010

Butterflies, Tiger Lilies and Dogwoods

This week I was inspired by the idea of metamorphosis, new beginnings, and good friends.

This butterfly came to me from two sources. Initially I was trying to think of a way to create a butterly brooch to give as a birthday gift to one of my mom's dearest friends. I played with different shades of beads and different twisting techniques from French flower beading, but wasn't satisfied. So, I looked around online for other images of beaded butterflies as well. I'd like to send a shout out to Fen at BeadFloraJewels

because although I did not use her exact pattern or technique she had some butterflies in her shop that I was able to use as inspiration for my creations. Plus all of her pieces are just so beautiful to me, I love to see what she has been working on.

I finally came up with a pattern for how I wanted the butterflies to look and then popped out a few samples. Here's one that I attached to a headband and I was so pleased with the way it came out that I expect you will see more headbands like this one from me in the future.

I think that an exchange of ideas between crafters who use the same medium is so important for the craft to continue on and grow. It's a great way to support each other, foster new creativity, and bring new pieces into being.

Onto other project notes. After I finished the brief foray into the world of butterflies this week, I realized that I really need to get crackin' (or get sea kraken as my son would say) on the parts for my friend's wedding bouquet. In past posts you've been shown the petal layers for the asters that will be mixed into it. But currently I shifted my focus to the tiger lilies. Since I am planning for the bouquet to have between 9 and 12 lilies, that means I have to create about 72 petals.

Each petal is made with Czech glass seed beads and colored copper wire. It takes approximately 1 hank or 12 strands of beads to make one lily. Here you can see the pile I have created so far. It's encouraging to see them begin to add up but between the rest of the bouquet flowers and the additional flowers needed I still have plenty of work to go.

The other challenge I had before me was to find a pattern for a dogwood flower. For many of the flowers I create I am able to simply look at a flower and come up with my own patterns that resemble them pretty closely. I was a little stumped with the dogwood because they have an indentation on the outside of the petal. A few weeks ago I finally purchased a new beaded flower book that had a dogwood pattern in it.

I am so pleased with the way this pink dogwood bloom looks. I attached it to hair pin and think it would be lovely in bride's hair or for a spring formal. Of course for Anna's bouquet I want to use a creamy white and the beads I previously ordered were not exactly the color I hoped. New beads have now been ordered and are on the way. Should give me plenty of time to keep working on the lilies before I have to switch over.

One more thing a plug for a great event happening this weekend. It's the Southern Seed Legacy's 13th Annual Seed Swap. This is a great venue to trade your old plant/veggie/flower/herb seeds and get some new ones or just come and get some new ones if you happen to be a beginner. There will be seed traders, crafters, bbq and potluck, music and more. Find all the info at the website

I know I'll be there with my beads enjoying the day!

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