Posts Tagged ‘bridal’

I said I would show you how to make beaded flowers. Today we start! I’m going to tell you what I know about making French beaded flowers. My way is only one way.

And let me warn you…I do a lot of things the opposite way most of the books show you. I didn’t think I was dyslexic but somehow when I taught myself I taught myself backwards. The end result is the same as long as I’m consistent and sometimes I have to re-think the directions in some of the books I have, but it works just fine for me. I will show you my way and then you can decide to do it whatever way suits you best.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks or so I’ll share with you all the tools and materials I use, some good sources for them that I’ve found, and then I’ll show you the two main types of flower making techniques — looped flowers and what I call the Center Post Method (I’ve seen it called lots of other things. I think I may have made this one up!).

French beaded floral wreath

This is my latest project. It was adapted from a Japanese beaded flower book. I made a few minor changes. I’ll be using it to display on my table at my booth for an upcoming bridal show. There will be a cut glass vase in the middle and it will hold the entries for a drawing I’m holding for a beaded flower hair clip. I just loved picking the colors and seeing all the tiny flowers take shape. It gave me a breath of spring in the cold days of winter. And it really said bridal to me. I can see a version of this as a circlet headpiece for the bride, can’t you?

French beaded floral wreath detail

The two different techniques I mentioned were used in this wreath. If you look at the detail, the pink flowers and buds and the calyxes underneath are made up of loops. The leaves have a center row of beads and additional rows surround it creating a leaf (or petal) shape using the Center Post Method.

beaded flowers in progress with bead spinner

You can see the loops a little more clearly in this picture. Each flower is made up of two layers of continuous loops joined together and a center of yellow beads is also added. I’ll tell you more about that “funny looking bowl thing” later on!

You may not think so, but this is a project even a practiced beginner could make. All it takes is a little know-how, some patience and some time. Hopefully, by the time I’m done with this series of blog posts you’ll feel confident enough to give it a try.

I’m happy to answer your questions as we go along, so don’t be shy!

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Thanks to Lisa Burkin for including my Pale Blue Beaded Flower Hair Clip in her beautiful treasury today! I’m honored.


‘send some love’ by lisaburkin

i love you – photography – V…


Wednesday – Romantic Revived…


pottery heart bowl pink 1 1/…


vintage Valentine girl w fan


Pleated Cowl Womens Organic …


SALE Valentine Valentines Da…


Reach For the Sky 8×10 Fine …


GIOIA – Knitted Shrug -LUX V…


cream caffe latte ballet sca…


Prehnite Necklace, Faceted P…


Pet Lobster Womens T-shirt i…


Valentines Day Letterpress N…


Pale Blue Beaded Flower Hair…


romantic valentine love 5×7 …


Pink Heart, Paris Graffiti -…


Mint Green Rose Flower Antiq…


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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Just thought I’d show you a little of what’s up in Sylvana’s Realm this week.

I’m making a French beaded flower wreath, following a pattern (sort of ) in a Japanese book I have. I wish I could get the English translations for all the fabulous Japanese and Russian beading books I own!

The wreath is going to encircle a beautiful Waterford crystal rose bowl I was given as a wedding present that I’ll be displaying in my booth. The entry forms for my drawing (one of my beaded hair clips) will go in there. I can see this circlet adapted for a bridal headpiece, so once I have it made I may do another one that’s a little larger and put it up in my shop. I’ll be sure to show it to you here first!

I got most of the petals and the calyxes (the green whorls at the underside of the flower, also called the sepals) done and today I’m tackling the leaves. Then the fun part — assembling the flowers and then the wreath. I’ll show you the steps as I complete them.

I thought next week I would begin a series of blog posts on French beaded flowers. The whole shebang. First I’ll tell you something about the history, which is fascinating. Then I’ll tell you about the materials and tools used to make them. And finally I do a series of tutorials (my first!) on the two major techniques I use. I’ll have to get familiar with the tripod and timed settings on my camera again so I can shoot and hold everything at the same time!

Later on today or tomorrow I’ll show you what the leaves and calyxes look like. Have a great day!

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I may not do this every week, but it’s one of my goals for 2012: A treasury every Tuesday.

I just saw the movie Marie Antoinette over the holiday and just loved the interiors and costumes, especially the pale aquas, blues and pinks. And seeing as wedding season has officially begun I thought I’d see what I could find on Etsy in the powder blue category. I like what ferreted out. Hope you do, too!


‘Something Blue, Powder Blue’ by SylvanaVintageDesign

Wedding season has begun.Got me thinking about that “something blue” here’s a collection for you. Palest blue (think Marie Antoinette), powder blue pretties for you.

Alice in Wonderland Tutu- Fl…


POWDER BLUE spring old flowe…


Light Powder Blue Flower Bro…


Shabby Chic Victorian Inspir…


Powder Blue Flower Post Earr…


Pricila Blue Bridal Garter-S…


Swiss Blue Topaz Earrings wi…


Powder Blue Purse


Pleated Silk Dupioni Clutch …


Soft powder blue and copper …


Matte Powder Blue Eye Shadow…




Bridesmaid gifts SIX Bare Le…


Antique Brass Light Sky Blue…


Light Blue Scarf, Pure Silk …


Party Time – Powder Blue Ros…


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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We’ve had snow for the past three days.

Pretty isn’t it?

And seeing as I’ve contracted the creeping crud (otherwise known as bronchitis) I’d have been indoors anyway.

For the past few weeks and during my confinement I’ve been making pretty things for my Etsy shop. As you may have read earlier, I’m concentrating on French beaded flower items for weddings and other special occasions. And I must say I’ve been having a wonderful time!

Some have feathers…

…and some don’t.

Of course any design can be reconfigured with feathers or without or made in a different color.

My goal is to have 100 listings on my shop by the beginning of the year. About half will be hair accessories and the rest will be vintage style earrings and necklaces, plus a few beaded flower pins. Oh, and by the way, any of these hair accessory designs can be made into a brooch!

I love feedback and ideas, so let me know what you think. If you know someone who is getting married, perhaps they’d like to consider some of my handmade pretties for their wedding. These are also great for proms, black tie affairs or even historical re-enactment events. Victorian ball anyone?

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All brides are beautiful and I love making jewelry and accessories for them and their party.

I sold a pair of these earrings to a bride to be in England earlier this year and since wedding season follows close on the heels of the Christmas holiday I thought I’d begin by re-creating them again and listing them on my Etsy shop today.

I made this headpiece a couple of years ago. Challenging but really fun to make and I was extremely pleased with the results. Luckily I bought a large quantity of those lovely champagne beads! They combine beautifully with almost any accent color.

I made this hair comb and a boutonniere to compliment the head piece. I have the comb listed in my Etsy shop and will be listing the boutonniere shortly, plus I’ll be making a new version of the headpiece to list that would be a little less elaborate to keep the cost down.

Studio time next week will be spent designing some bridal necklaces, hair clips, hair pins, combs and more elaborate head pieces. I’ve seen some interesting “hair vines” done by other artists and I’m eager to try one of those. My French beaded flower-making skills will play into all my designs. Your suggestions always welcome. Know any newly engaged ladies? I’d love to know what colors they’re planning to use for their upcoming nuptials!

The good news is I’m not making Thanksgiving dinner this year and I’m giving all handmade gifts (already made by me or other Etsy artisans) so I have lots more time for creating my new bridal line. My idea of a happy holiday!

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A link from another blog, Erin Fickert-Rowland’s Elysian Studios, brought me to this blog post about a butterfly wedding. How gorgeous is this?

It comes from Shannon Eileen’s Happiness Is…blog from last year on “Butterfly Themed Weddings.” She’s gathered some other lovely butterfly things there as well.

When I recently visited Pismo Beach, California to take an exciting two-day class with Diana Frey and Riki Schumacher called Bezelicious I spent some time at the Monarch butterfly grove there. Such a delightful experience. What could be more romantic and inspiring than thousands of butterflies all in one cluster of trees?

I can see so many possibilities. I know the holidays are coming, but so is….WEDDING SEASON. As soon as I finish the push to make lots of new items for my Etsy shop in time for the holidays I’ll be turning my attention to all those newly engaged couples. Did you know that the holidays are the number one time of the year for folks to pop the question? I know we were part of that statistic!

I have so many ideas for a new bridal line now that I’m concentrating on designing with French beaded flowers. I’ll be sharing the design process with you in the coming months.

I see a trend — weddings and butterflies. What do you think?

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Getting ready to launch a whole new line of products for my online shop can be a bit daunting. This is where I take all I’ve learned over the past six months to refine and focus my niche online.

I’ve been reading, reading, reading (thanks to all those other great experienced bloggers out there!) about how to market myself and my skills better. I’ve decided that the bridal/special occasion market is really where I want to be and my French beaded flower-making skills are what set me apart.

With that in mind, I’m busy making prototypes that can be reproduced in different colors and customized for whatever event the customer is looking to accessorize. Designing is so much fun!

I started with simple hair clips for little girls (or big girls like me who just like them).

So far I’ve designed four variations and thought I’d make a set in ten different colors to start. Of course, I can match just about any color if given a swatch. (Have I mentioned I have a bead store in my basement???)

For the bride, mother and mother-in-law of the bride, and bridesmaids I’ll be offering “statement” hair accessories like this one.

This design can easily be made into a brooch or added to a headband as well so it’s very versatile.

Then it’s on to bridal headpieces and circlets, boutonnieres, and even full stems to add to bridal bouquets. The final and most ambitious pieces will be full bouquets and tussie mussies that are completely made of beaded flowers.

All of these designs can be adapted to any occasion like a prom or black tie affair.

I’ve got my work cut out for me, just creating the basic product line, but I’m having so much fun translating the beauty of Nature’s flowers into beads it hardly seems like work!

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And make it into something new!

If you read the second half of yesterday’s post you know I’m taking an online class with Mary Green of Green Paper. Click on the button I’ve put up on the right and you can see what it’s all about. This is my first week working on this “go at your own pace” class and I’m already having a consciousness shift.

You see, I love vintage things, especially paper. Hence this blog. I favor Victorian and Edwardian, but I go up to the 1940s. Then you kind of lose me.

In 1989 I married my DH at a Victorian inn in Connecticut and we had a Victorian style wedding. Somehow that led to me writing my first book, which was published by Simon & Schuster in 1992.

This began a long and happy journey of collecting neat stuff, especially photos, postcards, calling cards, advertising premiums, old books, textiles and other this and that.

Now Mary gives us plenty of splendid images in digital form that we can play with for our class and mostly I’m using those to learn the basics of color and composition. I love my laser printer!

But gee, why not see what we have lying around, right? I’ve been searching shelves and digging through boxes Making new and unexpected connections. And that’s not all.

At the turn of the millennium I inherited the care of my special needs brother and discovered that among his disabilities is a propensity for OCD behaviors, one of which centered around collecting postage stamps. Thousands of them. Thousands. And then he lost interest.

I’ve had them in stacks of boxes contemplating what to do with them. I found out they really aren’t worth a great deal.

We are troubled no more! I’ve discovered gluebooks, vintage scrapbooking, collage and assemblage! Nothing is off limits, even if it’s yellowed, torn or stained (or cancelled). These stamps have new and exciting artistic possibilities.

My eyes see completely different things in all this accumulated stuff than they did when I first acquired them. In some cases I just grabbed a “pretty” because I liked it. Or an old photo of a complete stranger long departed simply “spoke” to me. I acquired them with no real idea of what I was going to do with them. Now it seems it was for a creative purpose contained in the future.

Don’t you just love when that happens?

I have a feeling the next thing on my shopping list is going to be a really good flatbed scanner. Recommendations anyone?

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Not long ago this was a new word to me, and I thought I knew quite a lot about millinery. I’ve even made some period hats in my time. But Fascinator? Sounded like an intriguing man!

Since I follow the bridal and formal markets, I started seeing this term more and more over the past year or so so I decided to look into it. What’s the fascination with Fascinators? Pardon the cliche’.

Fascinators were apparently common accessories in the 18th century, but fell out of favor as fashions are wont to do. They are somewhere between a hair accessory and a hat and attach to the hair with an alligator clip, comb, headband or elastic.

They are associated with burlesque queens and showgirls, albeit in a much more showy form, although I’d call the one worn by Princess Beatrice above a bit “showy,” wouldn’t you?

Today Fascinators are making a strong comeback at weddings and formal occasions. Sarah Jessica Parker, Eva Longoria, Kate Middleton, and Carrie Underwood have all sported one now and again.

The materials used are often luscious feathers, silk flowers and beads. I’ve seen some lovely ones with vintage brooches or earrings added as focal points.

Toni Docktor aka FuchsiaWoman has some great information on her blog about Fascinator history. She’s a self publisher living in California. She says she does housework in a ballgown!

So let’s see who’s out there making them.

Anuccia fascinator

This Fascinator above is by anuccia of the UK. It includes jet Swarovski crystals and can be dyed to any color.

Ooh La La Plume

Ooh La La Plume from the UK has a pretty comprehensive history of Fascinators on her site and makes a variety of lovely designs you can view in her shop. [Ooh La La Plume "Tiffany" above]

She tells us:

“Fascinators took a bit of a tumbling decline from the 1960’s but their popularity was brought very much back into the limelight when the Duchess of Cornwall chose a Fascinator for her marriage to Prince Charles while the Queen wore a Fascinator at the wedding of her grandson Peter Phillips.”

Fascinator from Serephine

And check out Erin Brook’s site, Seraphine, and  her Fascinator history, which includes some nice historic pictures as well as pix of current celebs with their feathers showing. Erin uses lots of vintage jewels in her pieces and judging from the pix of beautiful satisfied brides, they love ‘em! She’s located in Seattle, WA. [Seraphine "Audrey" Fascinator above]

Georgina Macaulay fascinator

Georgina Macauley, also in the UK, has a huge selection of Fascinators on her site at hatsandfascinators.com. ["Flower Crinoline" Fascinator from Hats and Fascinators above]

Want to make your own? Here’s a delightful video from the UK that shows making a little tiny hat Fascinator in just a few minutes:

Just google “making fascinators” or similar term and you’ll finds lots of instructions. I’ve got the feathers, the combs and clips, the glue, the beads and some nifty vintage brooches and earrings I can take apart. I’m going to try some and share them in a later post. If you decide to, too, I’d love to see them!

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