Friday, December 3, 2010

I Love Beading Flowers

Several years ago I fell in love with making beaded flowers using various beadweaving techniques. In fact, I loved them so much that I wrote a book titled, Dimensional Flowers Leaves & Vines, which unfortunately, is now out of print. Most of my flowers are just made up and may or may not resemble real flowers so I just call them fantasy flowers.

One of my favorites is a little flower I call a "Mock Poppy" because it remindes me of the beautiful little poppys that grew wild where I lived as a child. This little flower is an easy way to learn how to work tubular peyote increases. The larger flower is five sided and the smaller flower is three sided.

It was fun experimenting and making different shapes as I created various flowers for the book. It's fascinating how just changing the number of increases changes the shape of the flower. The Mock Poppy has 5 increase sections and works outward to a pentagon shape. The smaller flower has 3 increase sections and takes on a triangular shape. Another flower, "Garbriel's Trumpet" starts with fewer beads and only increases in two places. As you work it gradually takes on an oval shape.

I've always experimented with my beading. I never really thought of giving it a name until I took a right angle weave class from David Chatt. I believe it was he who called this experimenting, 'The What If Game".  As you are beading just play the "what if" game. Ask youself, "What would happen if I did this.. or if I did that. What if I changed the size or number of the beads? What if I added an increase here, or made a decrease there? What if I changed techniques right in the middle of this piece? What if I gradually added larger or smaller beads? What if I ...what if I... " You'll find as you play the 'what if' game you'll enjoy creating and learn so much about beading.

I encourage you to experiment yourself and create your own beautiful flowers. Beaders have told me they are afraid to experiment because something may go wrong. I always ask them, "What's the worst thing can go wrong." Then I tell them, "The worst thing that can happen is you cut it apart and start over. You still have all the beads and all you're out is a few inches of thread and a little time. But you've gained a lot of experience and had a lot of fun." Some of my best designs have come from 'mistakes and all of them have come from experimeting and playing "The What If Game". Won't you come play with me? .


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lazy Barb

I've still not done any beading on the swarovski crystal. Sigh.. She sits there all alone waiting for me to return from my 'vacation' from beading. LOL

Actually, I've tested a couple patterns for a lady I know, but I've not worked on the crystal. for a long time It's just kind of on the back burner for now. I can see the tray every time I come into my studio (fancy name for 2nd bedroom) but I have to be inspried to work on it. So far inspiration has gone on vacation. It happens to everyone and I'm not fighting it this time. LOL I'm just going to enjoy my time off and wait for inspiration to hit again. I know it will - eventually. Actually, I have tons of ideas, but I can't decide which design to do. Arrg.. I hate it when I'm undecided.

I've got some great ideas for some other things I'm designing, but I just haven't had time to really sit down and execute them. Well, that's not exactly true.. While I'm waiting for my inspiration to come back on the crystal I've been learning to tat. Can you believe it? So far I'm doing ok with needle tatting, It comes pretty naturally because I've had some kind of needle and thread in my hand ever since I was a little girl .

I'm also learning how to do shuttle tatting. But that's a horse of a different color. Whew! That 'flip' almost got to me, but I finally 'got it'. LOL Holding a shuttle is such a strange feeling but I'll get used to it..or not. LOL

The good thing about tatting is that you can add beads to it too. That's way cool!