Monday, December 16, 2013

Beading Inspirations

Cold, snowy winter days. Spring flowers.
That's the connection my mind has made this past week and I have been working on a few projects incorporating types of late winter flowers with various twig and berry type accents. I have a friend who makes flower arrangements all times of the year. In the summer it's easy, but I am always impressed by the way she can gather the components when everything is dormant. When I told her that, she said "there's always something." It is with this in mind that I have been able to find inspiration from the bleak landscape that has turned into a winter scene. 
My palette has been greens and white, with some blue, dark purple and gray mixed in. These colors are turning into snowdrops, ivy, glory of the snow, hellebore, and berries. To brighten things up I am using yellow to make aconites. 
I have pictures I took last spring to work from but they are not my only references. Beautiful Bulbous Plants, by John Weathers is A Project Gutenberg e-book with 33 full color plates by Mrs. Philip Hensley that I came across while searching for pictures of snowdrops. I have some old books with color plates of botanical drawings, but it was nice to find a modern one, complete with gardening information. I buy flower books with color plates I see in used book stores, and also cross stitch books with color diagrams (usually printed for sale in the United Kingdom.) I also like field guides and have many different flower ones. I don't think you can ever have too many books, and with another snow storm predicted for tomorrow I think I might be beading from pictures a lot.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Snowdrops are one of my favorite spring flowers. They are the first bulbs to bloom, sometimes in January while there is still snow on the ground. Seeing a patch of them flowering outside the front door always brightens my day. A while ago I made a beaded snowdrop flower, complete with plant and bulb, in the style of a botanical drawing. I wasn't very happy with the flower itself and I never did anything with it. Recently I was asked to make a pin out of it, and I decided to make the whole thing over. Originally I had used delica beads, but I wanted to see if the round beads looked better. I made some samples out of Japanese and French beads to see which was best for the petals. 

I decided to use both, one for the center and the other for the petals. they are different shades of white, and I am hoping to give the flower some dimension. Of course, I can never make just one flower, so now I am thinking I will make a necklace too, maybe with some ivy leaves and berries for accent. Time to order more beads! Really what I need to do is figure out how to attach the plant to a pin base, right now I am thinking a stick pin would work. The original was made around a piece of sterling wire and it turned black, so that's out. Oh well, I will just make more flowers until the beads and findings I ordered arrive and figure it out then.