Join my July Bead-along! (And other news)

Hey bead friends! I’m teaching another bead-along! And you’re all invited!

In our Facebook Group, we have entry questions that everyone must answer to be admitted into the group. One of them asks what flowers they would like to learn how to make. So many new members include lilies in their answer, so I am making that happen! They also happen to be one of my favorite flowers.

I originally published my French Beaded Asiatic Lily design back in 2017, and I figured that would be an excellent class to offer for a bead-along. The original design teaches a full plant, but since this class is only a month long, and it happens to be in July when a lot of people are traveling, we will be making a single stem for the bead-along.

The bead-along is also an opportunity for me to re-write the pattern. As it’s an older pattern, it was written in a slightly different format. Not bad or incorrect, just different than how I write them nowadays. Plus, for the bead-along I am adding in a new speckled petal option.

What is a Bead-along?

A bead-along is a class that is offered for a group to bead and learn together. They are usually free, but only for the duration of the bead-along. This particular class will be offered during the month of July. Class participants will have access to the PDF and videos until the end of the bead-along.

Class materials are released one lesson at a time throughout the month. Make sure you watch all the videos and download all the PDFs during the class. Once they are gone, they are gone for good! After the class is over, the PDFs and videos cannot be accessed for free by anyone and would need to be purchased for continued access. To keep it absolutely equal, I don’t make any exceptions to that rule.

Designers do bead-alongs on a volunteer basis, mostly because we love our beading communities and want to do something fun to engage with them and get them excited about beading. It’s like a little beading party!

How to Participate

There are two ways that you can join in my Asiatic Lily bead-along in July.

Option 1: You can join our Facebook Group! Specifically, the “Learn how to Make French Beaded Flowers” group. This is the most fun option because you will be able to interact with a larger group of beaders from around the globe throughout the class, and see everyone’s work. After you request to join, there will be a membership questionnaire. Make sure you answer ALL of the questions thoroughly, and agree to follow the group rules. Because the content in the group is so valuable, we don’t let anyone in unless they convince us that they should be included. We also have to be able to make sure that they aren’t a fake account that’s trying to access our member list for nefarious purposes, or to post spam in our group. Fake accounts can auto-fill in those questions. So, provide as much info as you can, and don’t sound like a robot!

Option 2: You can enroll in the Video Class on my website! Not everyone is on Facebook. So, I’ve made a way to offer bead-alongs on my website, too. Unfortunately, this option is not a group setting. More of a solo venture. But you will still be able to work through the lessons and ask me questions via the Q&A section. You will need to have an account registered on my website in order to enroll in the class.

With either option, you will need to be proactive and remember to attend class. If you are in the group, watch for my posts during the month. The best way to make sure you don’t miss any is to regularly check in with the group. There’s always a featured post at the top of the group that contains links to every PDF and video. If you are participating via my website, you will receive emails when new lessons are posted. But you should also remember to check in on the Video Classes page just in case you miss any or the spam folder or ether eats my emails.

Hope to “see” everyone in class next month!

This Year’s Teacher Gifts

Every year I try to make a potted plant or small flower arrangement for my kids’ school teachers. Teachers do so much to help kids grow, and my kids have always had wonderful teachers. This year all three of my kids were in school since my youngest started kindergarten. One of my kids has seven teachers, so that added up to nine teachers. I was planning to make a succulent or small potted flower for each of the nine teachers. But whenever I make ambitious plans, life has a way of getting in the way and making them very difficult to accomplish. My inspiration drive is like an all-you-can-eat buffet… but reality is that I have a tank with limited capacity.

So I ended up only having enough time for two… and I gave them to the teachers of the two youngest children. That way I won’t have to pick a favorite amongst my oldest child’s seven teachers, and no one will feel like I don’t like them if one teacher on the team gets one and the others don’t. Next year there will be 15 teachers because I will have two kids in middle school, and I have a feeling I won’t be able to do that many either… though I may try anyways!

This year I made two pots of Johnny Jump Up. I chose this flower partially because I had started the design many, many years ago, so I didn’t have to think too hard about it. When you’re short on time, it’s always best to make something you already know how to make, rather than coming up with a whole new design. But, I also picked them because they are currently taking over one of my garden beds, and they are super cute. They make me so happy every time I go out there and see their bright little faces.

Yes, I’ll publish this one too. But, I’d like to do it in 15/0. I had to make these plants in 11/0 because I didn’t have the right colors in 15/0. They turn out larger than life in 11/0, but if I reduce rows, then I can’t put in the coloring details. So, I’ll use smaller beads for the pattern.

Other News

After about 13 years on Etsy, I have decided to close up my shop there at the end of June. I started on Etsy selling my handmade gourd art. Then I switched to making beaded flowers, and sold those for a while before I started selling my patterns instead.

There are many reasons for the change, but I won’t go into ALL of them here. I’ve actually been considering it for a couple of years, and I keep going back and forth… it hasn’t been an easy decision. I was also going to set up a new shop on a site called GoImagine. That site is dedicated to handmade artists and you have to be accepted in order to sell there (though it is for USA artists only…). The company donates all of their after-tax profits to children’s charities. So a portion of the fees and commissions that GoImagine takes from my sales would go to help children in need. I already applied and was accepted, and started setting up shop over there because it sounded so appealing for the fees I pay as a business to go towards something wholesome. But, now I’m thinking that I will just focus on my website, and find my own children’s charity to donate to. I need more peace and simplicity in my busy life, which is one of the reasons I was wanting to leave Etsy in the first place… and setting up another shop doesn’t really help with that. GoImagine is a tiny site without much traffic, so I’d have to spend a lot of time and effort to drive traffic there. I spent so many years building up my website to what it is today. Not sure I want to start over with that, or drive people to a different platform when I’ve spent so much time developing this website.

My Etsy shop does not contain all of my designs, anyways. I generally keep only my more popular or beginner-friendly designs there since many of my customers on Etsy have no clue what French Beading is. They just stumbled across my listings while looking for bead weaving patterns. That is how I discovered French Beading, too. But I can’t tell you how many upset messages I’ve gotten from people who didn’t read all of the info in the listings, and didn’t realize what they were buying, and are mad at me for it. I’ve done all I can to put the info front and center… even included all the info in the listing photos since Etsy hides the description… but it doesn’t seem to help all that much. At least on my website, most people are here actually looking for French Beaded Flower patterns.

I spoke with Etsy Support, and they assured me that anyone who purchased files from me on Etsy would continue to have access to the files they purchased, even if my shop is closed. But, I always recommend storing files on your own devices or cloud service. You never know when Etsy is going to change the rules. The support team member I spoke to did cryptically say right at the end that he was going to pass on the issue to the development team for future “enhancements”… whatever that means… Of course, I will have records of purchases that were made on Etsy, and I am always happy to resend files if you lose them or can’t download them for whatever reason.

I am still working on the pattern that I’m planning to publish this month, so there will be another post when that blessed event happens. I didn’t get a pattern out in May because May was just way too busy. But, I did publish two new patterns in April, so I figured I could just not stress myself out even more in May.

Alrighty, friends. That’s all I’ve got for now! Happy Beading!
– Lauren

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