Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Daisy, Daisy, what will we do with you....

daisy motif with beads

There's been lots of daisies & lots of making bits going on this weekend - I keep flitting between this 'n' that just like the baby birds that have been fluttering about in the garden (they are so cute and distracting I can waste hours watching them!)

Baby Sparrow

I think it must be a good year for the daisies as they seem to be out in abundance everywhere I look which got me to thinking about using them as an inspiration for a new project and had me humming 'Daisy, Daisy...' all over the place!  I began to wonder about the song and who Daisy might have been and discovered the ditty was written by songwriter Harry Dacre in 1892 and was said to be about a certain Frances Evelyn 'Daisy' Greville, Countess of Warwick.

Countess 'Daisy', born in 1861, was a British Socialite who's mother was said to be a descendant of Charles II through one of his mistresses.   Apparently she was once up for consideration of marriage to one of Queen Victoria's sons but either it turned out he loved someone else or she didn't particularly like the stuffiness of Royal life and went on to marry Frances Greville, Lord Brooke aka 'Brookie'.  They lived together in Warwick Castle where Daisy was said to hold lavish parties and even hosted seances which were de rigour at the time. She was also an aficionado of the bicycle which has to have had something to do with the song lyrics too don't you think?

 This image is in the public domain due to its age (file from the Wikimedia Commons)

Daisy, herself a veritable fashionista with dresses regularly shipped in from Paris, and 'Brookie' became part of a very swanky social set headed, no less, by Albert, The Prince of Wales (later to become King Edward VII). Not only that but, it was said, Daisy also began to have a number of affairs with powerful men - including the Prince!  After that she fell in love with a millionaire (and had 2 children by him) but he went on to marry someone else and she was pretty broken hearted.   However,  that was not the end of the  scandalous affairs, partying and gossiping surrounding her and eventually she hit upon hard times - having spent much of her money on her lavish lifestyle!  She even sank so low that she tried to publish memoirs about her affair with the prince but she was hushed up and another time it's said she almost went to prison!  

Daisy was not a discrete person and eventually earned the nickname 'The Babbling Brooke' due to her inability to keep details of her affairs quiet.  During her life of scandal she somehow managed to find time to open a school of needlework in Essex amongst other philanthropic establishments, and get involved in social politics and was quite a vocal supporter of Women's suffrage.  She became a bit of a writer (one of her books was about William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement) and she did eventually publish her own memoirs titled 'Life's Ebb and Flow' in the late 1920s.  Quite honestly it all seems a bit of a risqué sort of life and a real daisy is such a small, unassuming little flower it seems inadequate for such a colourful character!

Anyway - let's get back to my garden daisies and see what  project they inspired...
addicted to making
Simple... pure...ponderings...

daisy chains
sweet & innocent...those hours spent threading one through another as a child...

There are so many possible ways to make a daisy but in the end I decided to make a little beaded 'motif' and all you need for this is some thin beading wire (0.4mm is good) and seed beads in yellow & white. 

how to make a beaded daisy

Here's the step-by-steps...

1) Cut a fairly long piece of wire and thread a dozen or so beads onto it (the size and number of beads will determine the size of the centre of your Daisy)

2) Thread one end of the wire back through the last bead and pull to close the beads into a circle...

addicted to making

3) Next, bring the long end of wire up through the beads and thread on enough white seed beads to give you a petal (size of your choosing) and thread the end of the wire through the next bead along...

4) Continue to add beads and take the wire through the next bead so that you begin to make lots of petals..

beaded flowers

how to make a beaded daisy

how to make a beaded daisy

5) If you run out of wire simple add some more on by wrapping a new piece around the centre' a couple of times, trim, squash in the end and then continue..

step by step flower tutorial

6) Work all the way around until you have lots of petals then wind the wire around the centre a couple of times to finish. Trim & tuck in the end neatly. If some of your petals are a bit loose you can gently twist each petal (but be careful as if you stress the wire too much they might snap off!)

how to make a beaded daisy

7) Now all you have to do is decide how to use your motif.. here's a few ideas to get you going:

how to make a beaded daisy

I hope you have fun making these little beaded flowers - you could make lots in all different sizes or link them to make your own daisy chain (don't forget to experiment with other colour combo's too).

Happy Bank Holidaisy :-)

All pictures (c) Addicted to Making 2014 

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