French Beaded Scallops Video Tutorial

Intro

I promised you guys a video demonstration of Scallops, and I’ve finally managed to get a semi-decent one made. Yay!

Making videos is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but it’s a difficult thing for me to do. I’m pretty shy, and public speaking is pretty far outside my comfort zone. I’m known to break out in hives, or forget how to speak altogether (no, dear church congregation, I’m not speaking in tongues, just having a panic attack). My husband has been laughing at me (in a nice, supportive way of course) as I walked around the house rehearsing what I was going to say in this video, and even miming the hand movements. The first day of recording was a complete disaster. I was so nervous my hands were shaking through the whole thing, but it got easier and easier. Though beading through a camera lens is actually hard, and I had to practice beading and talking at the same time because it turns out I don’t naturally have that kind of coordination… I had to keep pulling the leaf off to the side or up close to my face so I could actually see what I was doing. And then there’s the issue of getting my camera to stay focused. So, I’ve done the best I can and I hope that the video will help someone. This was not an easy project for me, but now seeing it finished is a personal triumph. That’s what art does for the artist. It helps us grow, sometimes in ways we don’t expect. When I started making French Beaded Flowers about six years ago, I certainly didn’t think that I’d end up making videos (or even patterns and tutorials at all, for that matter) to help teach people about this beautiful art.

Blah, blah, blah. Enough of that. After much self-inflicted torture, I am pleased to present my very first video tutorial in which I demonstrate the French Beading technique called Scallops.

I have just set up a YouTube Channel, and so far this is the only video there. I probably won’t be able to add more tutorial videos until next year, since I’m working with all my might to get my first book published near the end of November, and then we are getting into the busy holiday season. So, we’ll see what my schedule looks like after that. But I am definitely doing more. Some will be part of my Technique Guide series, and others will be projects as well. ūüôā
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Alrighty, so there are the basics of Scalloping. Let’s continue on and talk a little bit more about this wonderful technique. I’ll show a couple of fancier ways to use Scallops, and talk about bead counts.

Advanced Scalloping 

‚ÄčI’ve just shown how to make single Scallops, and now that you know the basics, you can apply the same methods to make stacked scallops and tipped (or winged) scallops.¬†‚Äč

‚ÄčStacking Scallops

PictureFigure 1

‚ÄčLet’s start with stacking. Stacking scallops refers to building scallops on top of each other to make thicker, larger scallops. To do this, first make the base scallops on each side of your leaf/petal (Figure 1).


PictureFigure 2

‚ÄčThen go back to the first side and add your next scallop at least one bead above the top of the base scallop. (Figure 2)¬†


PictureFigure 3

 

‚ÄčWrap back down to the Bottom Wire, and repeat on the opposite side of your leaf.¬†‚Äč(Figure 3)


PictureFigure 4

In¬†Figure 4, I’ve completed the leaf by adding a second set of stacked scallops, setting the base scallops on both sides of the leaf before going back and adding the second scallop over the top.

PictureFigure 5

You can stack as many scallops as you want, however, because all of the scallops are set into the same outer row, you will need to either burst a few beads in that outer row (very carefully with a set of pliers), or preferably, plan ahead and short yourself a few beads on that outer row to make room in the row for the extra wires that will need to go between beads.¬†(Figure 5)¬† If you don’t leave this space, your row will bow outward (it will still bow outward a little even with the space, but it is greatly reduced when you short yourself a few beads), and eventually you will just run out of space and won’t be able to get your wire between beads to set the scallops.¬†‚Äč

PictureFigure 6

If you get a little fancier with stacking scallops, you can use scallops to create really interesting texture on a leaf by bouncing back and forth. Let me show you what I mean by “bouncing back and forth”. In¬†Figure 6¬†I’ve got a single scallop made on the side of my leaf.
*Notice that I’ve shorted myself two beads at the bottom of the first scallop row. Keep this extra space at the bottom of the leaf.¬†

PictureFigure 7

Now wrapping back down, instead of wrapping at the Bottom Wire, we will set another scallop further down that outer row. (Figure 7‚Äč)¬†‚Äč‚Äč

PictureFigure 8

Then, bounce back up and set a scallop below the first. And back down to set a scallop below the first lower scallop.¬†‚Äč(Figure 8)

PictureFigure 9

Repeat this bouncing back and forth as many times as you need to reach the Bottom Wire. (Figure 9‚Äč)

PictureFigure 10

After which we wrap around the Bottom Wire and repeat the entire process on the opposite side of the leaf. (Figure 10‚Äč)

Winged (or tipped) Scallops

PictureFigure 11

Now let’s give our scallops some wings. (The effect is very similar to the shape a Loop Back would make, but you don’t need as many lacing wires.)

First, I’ve set my scallop. (Figure 11)


PictureFigure 12

Next, add more beads to my wire, but instead of wrapping straight down, we will use our thumbs to pinch a little “wing” into the tip of our scallop. (Figure 12)

Picture

And we continue on as usual with our scallops, the only difference being the pinched tip. (Figure 13‚Äč)


‚ÄčBead Counts

I’m going to go ahead and admit that I dislike bead counts with Scallops, but unfortunately they are kind of necessary. Why do I dislike them? Because all size 11/0 seed beads are not actually the same size. Some brands are taller and some are shorter, and some types are just very irregular in size and shape (which is just a whole other mess), and this difference in bead lengths can affect bead counts and alter the finished shape of your petal. When you’re only making a few scallops on each petal, this size difference in beads probably won’t distort your shape, or if it does, may not be a big enough deal to need fixing. But when you’re working with petals with lots of scallops, those tiny differences can add up with each scallop and the shape will be more prone to changing from the original.

Basically, take the counts with a grain of salt, and pay close attention to the shape of the leaf/petal in the pattern, making adjustments to the bead counts as needed.

One new idea that I’ve had to help the patterns be more accurate is to make the pictures in my patterns life-sized, so when the pattern is viewed at 100% size, you can lay your leaf/petal down on top of the picture to help measure out the scallop placements (Though I still include bead counts on the picture if they are needed). I’ve only done this in my recently published¬†Ball Dahlia pattern so far. I’m not sure if this was helpful to anyone or not, but I do plan on continuing to do this whenever possible.


And there we have French Beaded Scallops!

2 Comments

  • Kathleen

    Hello, Lauren:
    I’m a real rookie in the beaded flower world. I’ve made a few bouquets for family & friends. My greatest problem is the wrapping of the stems, (I can’t seem to get my fingers out of my way & have a dickens of a time) Next problem, just as hard for me is the planting of the bouquet. Have you done a tutorial addressing these 2 problems?
    So glad I found you. Your work is magnificent. A goal to try to attain.
    Blessings to you,
    Kathleen

    • Lauren Harpster

      Hello Kathleen,
      Thank you very much!
      Do you mean wrapping the stems with floral tape, embroidery floss, or beads? I don’t have tutorials for the floss or beads yet, that’s one that I’m working to get up soon. But basically I hold the flower stem with one hand below the section I’m wrapping, and the floss in the other hand, then spin the flower and the floss/beads wind around the stem.

      If you are potting a little beaded plant, then I would suggest using either non-hardening clay or something like Plaster of Paris. I personally have not had much luck with foam unless they are tiny and lightweight flowers. If you are putting a bouquet in a vase, I do recommend assembling the bouquet all together, so there’s just one stem. Then using something heavy like pebbles or marbles in the vase to act as a counter weight.

      I hope I’ve answered your questions. If you have any more, please do let me know.
      – Lauren

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