Interview with the artist - Lauren from Lauren's Creations

Remember this post about trying a new technique and how I was inspired by an artist called Lauren? Well, of course I couldn't hold back and had to ask her if she would like to do an interview with me and she said yes! Grab yourself a drink and a chair and be prepared to enjoy.
Good to have you here, Lauren!

Beaded floral hair comb

Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

I am a young mother of two little boys (ages 4 years and 18 months). My husband, Scott, and I have been married for 5 years, and we live in our little home in Southern Utah. He works as a Systems Specialist and Programmer, and I stay home to care for our children. The little ones take up most of my time, but I spend what little free time I have working on my micro business. 

I'm a fairly quiet person who enjoys the simpler things in life. I'm happiest at home with my family, even when they drive me absolutely crazy. I love sci fi and fantasy novels and movies. 

What's your craft and how did you get to do it in the first place?

My craft is French Beading, which is a very old art that is believed to have originated in the 1500's. Basically, you string tiny seed beads onto wire and wrap it using various techniques to make petals and leaves which are then assembled to create some truly unique flowers. I stumbled across pictures of french beaded flowers while I was searching for new bead weaving techniques, and I had to learn how to make them. My hobby turned into a business about a year ago. In the beginning I made mostly just hair accessories, but I've recently been branching out into jewelry and home decor. I love the challenge of designing a new pattern, which is one of the reasons I enjoy custom orders. There's something so fundamentally thrilling about using your own two hands to create the things you've been imagining or researching.
French beaded Tiger Lily made to order

I think this is one of the most asked questions – where does your inspiration come from?

Since most of my designs end up being some sort of foliage, I'd have to say that Nature is probably my largest source of inspiration, though I often incorporate my own little flair. 

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

My first love was gourd crafting. For those unfamiliar, hard shell gourds are grown in your garden, but if you let them dry out over the winter, they turn into a wood-like substance that can be carved, burned, or painted just like regular wood. I am still pretty new to the craft, and am by no means a master, but I hope to get there someday. Unfortunately, since I've had children I haven't been able to work on them as much as they are still very young and require constant supervision. Power tools, sawdust and curious little boys don't mix very well. I do have some fun ideas for mixing my beaded flowers and gourds that I hope I get to work on sometime soon.
French beaded roses from vintage beads

I read there is a difference between French beading and Victorian beading. Have you tried Victorian beading, too? If you have, can you tell us a bit about your experience with the two techniques?

Most people don't realize that French Beading and Victorian Beading are two different methods. Both involve tiny beads and wire, but the difference is in how they are put together. French beading requires you to wrap beaded wire around a central row, so you build your rows outward. With Victorian beading you are using two ends of the same wire and passing them through opposite ends of a row of beads and crossing them, and you build your rows stacked on top of each other. I have tried Victorian beading, and while it is easier, I personally prefer the French method as I like the finished look of the petals much better.
Daffodil pin made to order
Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

My favorite piece, and my hardest one are one in the same. I have recently completed my largest beaded flower project and I am so very thrilled with it. It is a wall hanging featuring a trio of Calla Lilies, with the accompanying foliage, mounted on a frame wrapped in beads and accented with a large amount of wire worked scrolls. Over all, it took five weeks - 90 working hours - to finish, with a great deal of trial and error, blood, sweat, and tears going into its completion. I'm so very proud of it and I have many more ideas for other wall hangings I can make!
Calla lily wall hanging

If you could choose one supply, no matter how expensive, what would it be? 

I've been dying to make French beaded flowers completely out of Swarovski Crystals instead of seed beads. But I'd need thousands of them... which would be very expensive indeed! It's on my to-do list! 

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I do sell online! My largest shop is Lauren's Creations on Zibbet.
Beaded autumn table wreath

Is there anything you would like to share with us? 

This year I've taken on an endeavor to build my flower repertoire and give myself a fun challenge. So I've started a Flower of the Month Challenge where I take a certain flower and build most of my new designs around that flower. If you'd like to follow along with me, you can visit my website/blog.
I can also be found on Facebook and Google+ .
Thank you, Lauren, that was really informative and fun to read. I'm already looking forward to seeing more from you!