Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Les fleurs des perles

Oui, oui, cette poste et en français aujourd'hui... or maybe not, I spend all week speaking French and need a break at weekends!  It does concern something French though - French Beaded flowers. 

I recently signed up to write reviews of craft books.  I mean, I have hundreds of the things, so I might as well pass on some opinions to those of you who might occassionally buy craft books (or be a hoarder-in-training like me). 

I was contacted by Vive Books who have a small but expanding range of craft e-books, downloadable from the site through this link.  The books are available for immediate download after payment.  I will tell you right now at the beginning that I was given a free download in exchange for a review, however all opinions are mine, I was not told what to say.

Bead Flowers & Wedding Bouquets
 
I reviewed Bead Flowers and Wedding Bouquets by Katie Dean.  The file is pretty big but the download didn't take long.  The book is interactive, which means that you can click on the various links in the pages to go to that page.  For example, I was in the "gerbera" section.  I was told to use a certain technique - if I clicked on the name of that technique, I was taken to the page of the book dealing explaining it.  Very useful in an electronic book like this. Each technique also has a video to watch to take you through the steps.  I didn't make use of this feature as I have no sound on my computer!

 
I'm going to get the negatives out of the way first.  Firstly, French beaded flowers are made from seed beads, little tiny seed beads.  I took the Gerbera instructions to the bead shop to buy the relevant supplies.  I was told I needed 1876 of colour 1.  Hmmm, I've never seen seed beads sold by quantity, it's always done by weight so this was not helpful.  I guessed.  I was then told to string half those beads onto the wire - I have a full time job so didn't have time to count out 938 seed beads!  Instead I counted out 100, measured them in my thimble and poured out that amount 10 times.  Incidentally, I did a rough calculation and 1g is roughly 125 size 11 beads...
 
The picture above shows my measuring cup and the stringing process.  1000 beads is quite a lot!
 

Counting issues over, I got to work.  Making the flower wasn't hard, it was a little fiddly at times, but stringing the petals was easy enough.  The hardest part was stringing all those beads onto the wire, that took a couple of hours in total.  I perfected a kind of poke-the-wire-at-the-beads-and-hope-they-jump-on approach which works until you're down to a couple of hundred.  I have, however, invested in a bead spinner which should arrive before I try the next flower on my list.


This is the gerbera, and as you can see it's made from two layers of outer petals, 2 layers of inner petals and a black centre.  Colour choice plays a big part in this craft, I didn't have much choice as I was buying from a shop, next time I'll buy online and have a much wider choice.  The outer petals should be a lighter version of the inner petals (not the centre, that's black), but I think my shades of purple were a little too similar.


Not the best photo as I seem to have moved the petals when I put it down, but I wanted to show you the stem which is bound in florist tape.  I think I'd strengthen the stem more next time.  And there will be a next time.  I want to try more of the projects in the book, and possibly make them into a bouquet to display in a vase.

The bouquets shown in the book are simply stunning, the instructions are excellent, very easy to follow and have step by step diagrams which help no end.

I'd give this book 10 out of 10, I think the only think I'd baulk at is the price.  This particular book is priced at £17 which seems a lot to me for an e-book.  You do have the facility on the website to download a sample though, so you can see what you're getting before you pay.  To download a sample of this book, go here.

Other book topics covered are Cardmaking, Beadwork, Quilting and Applique, Cross Stitch and Embroidery, Sewing, Cooking and, rather incongruously, African Drumming.  You can browse the categories here.

Thanks for all the help on my last post.  This issue is now fixed.  I had tried sewing again, but it just wasn't working.  An over night break followed by a rethreading seemed to do the trick.
 

12 comments:

Anna said...

Très jolie fleur de perles...
Bonne journée !
Anna

Kerryp77 said...

the flower look lovely, but i agree £17 does seem a little steep. I would not have liked to count those seed beads either!

Shirley said...

I have to admit that I like that you can get the book straight after payment, that's why I love my Kindle.

I'm so pleased your machine is working again.

Samantha said...

C'est beau! :)

JoJo said...

You did a great job! I made a beaded poinsettia once and vowed 'never again'. I just don't have that kind of time or patience. Plus the wire kept breaking.

Sheila said...

Wendy,
The flower looks really good. I've seen a book here( not the one you have)but never tried flowers,can't wait to see more.

Stacey S said...

Very pretty beading! I've made these flowers before, but I have probably the shortest attention span in the world, and definitely not enough patience for all that counting :) Lovely that you're doing some reviews! x

Sandra :) said...

Your flower is gorgeous! The price for the book does seem steep - especially for a downloadable file. It's too bad that the sample download didn't include a small project for people to try out - that's a great way to get people more interested in a book. The photography in the sample is certainly stunning, but I'm not sure I'd be interested in starting a project that involves counting out 900+ seed beads - you're a brave woman!

Jane Galley said...

The results are fantastic, looking forward to seeing your next one

Celtic Thistle said...

This definitely calls for more patience than I have, well done you!

Little Treasures said...

Gorgeous - I mean this is truly a gorgeous bead flower! I used to work with beads years ago, but now I don't have the patience for them.

made by ChrissieD said...

This is so very lovely :)