art :: more from the glass prairie

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Goat s Rue ©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Wild lupine

Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.  --  John Ruskin

Slowly the Glass Prairie grows.  Here are two more flowers - Goat's Rue and Wild Lupine.  
Each flower is made from hundreds of seed beads and wire using the French beaded flower technique.
I made each flower and leaf part separately before assembling them.  

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Glass Prairie - French Beaded Flowers

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Anise

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

    --  Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant"

In honor of spring and the flowers slowly unfolding in my garden, I bring you a few
more French beaded flowers from my Glass Prairie collection.  While they aren't
necessarily spring flowers themselves, they raised my spirits during the darkest
of winter days.

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CHA Summer 2012, my booth

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012 booth

"Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off."  - Author Unknown

I'm slowly making progress.  It's taken 4 shows to finally get a handle on how to develop a collection of ideas that fully show off my range of skills and ideas.  This is my table display at the CHA Summer 2012 Designer Showcase.  I decided to go for a theme, specifically DIY wedding.  

I had so much fun making everything, especially all the work with paper as my diecutter is a rather recent acquisition (ie - toy). I used it to cut out hundreds of paper flowers that I then snipped, bent and twirled into scores of flowers for the initials in the background. I considered different letters "I do," "We do" "Love" etc, but I settled on my own initials to advertise my business, LBO Studio, while also giving the impression that they are the monogram of a newly married couple.   

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer my CHA Summer 2012 Designer Showcase
There is a beaded bridal headpiece with matching groom's boutonnière and bridesmaid barrette. The French beaded daisy bridal bouquet is gorgeous and a great momento of the big day.  The flowers are among the easiest to make, so a great project for those just learning the art.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012 booth

I carried the beaded flowers onto embellished boxes for the safe keeping of wedding notes and cards.  As I grew up with cornucopias as table top favors filled with candies and nuts, it was a nostalgic trip for me to make my own versions for the display.

I start several months in advance of the show researching trends and thinking about what resonates with me and my design sensibilities.  The hardest part is settling on one concept and then carrying it through different mediums.  I want to do everything, but have learned that without a bit of editing, I tend to confuse folks.  Feedback has been that editors aren't sure how to market me and my work. Thankfully, that's no longer a problem.  I am finding my niche.  To anyone wanting to enter this business, I have to say - be true to yourself, be patient, and keep making!  


urban wildflower walk

 

Wildflowers3


Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.  
~Chief Seattle, 1855

While not as common as hostas and geraniums, wildflowers manage to hold their own throughout the Chicago region and are a primary source of inspiration for my Glass Prairie series.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Virginia bluebells

These lovely Virginia Bluebells grow in profusion in a small woodland strand of wildflowers next to the Evanston Art Center.  

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer purple cone flowers and black eyed susans

While walking last summer through the Ravenswood neighborhood, I came across this gorgeous collection with purple coneflowers ,black eyed susans and prairie blazing star.

©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Purple Coneflower French Beadwork, photo by Larry Sanders
Here's my own rendition of the purple coneflower made from beads and wire.

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Blackberry Lily

The blackberry lily isn't a native wildflower though often seen in wildflower plantings.  It was introduced to the United States from East Asia and while it produces lovely flowers, it is invasive spreading by seed and rhizomes.   

A walk through an alley last summer brought this surprise, a great mullein at over 6' feet in height growing through a crack in the cement. It's another non-native wildflower, this time from Eurasia.  The plant spreads itself by reseeding.  If you have one in your garden and want to keep if from taking over, head it before it seeds.  The seeds are hardy and can last in the soil for several decades before germinating! 

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Great Mullein

Of course, wildflowers are as beautiful when fading as when in full flower.  These last two photos are from an mid-autumn walk through the Skokie River Nature Preserve in Lake Forest, IL.

©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Wildflower fall
©2009 Lindsay Obermeyer Skokie River Nature Preserve


more from the glass prairie

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Anise photo credit Larry Sanders

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our whole life would change."  -- Buddha

Here are a few more from my Glass Prairie series.  Making them is a fine balance between representation and matieral concern.  Wire and bead can only do so much.  I find that since starting this project, I've increased my awareness of a flower's structure and how it varies from genus to genus.  This variety is what makes flowers so endlessy fascinating.  

423px-Mature_flower_diagram.svgImage is from Wikipedia.

The above is Anise, while the following is Blue Eyed Grass.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Blue eyed grass flower photo credit Larry Sanders

Goat's Rue
©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Goat's Rue photo credit Larry Sanders

Pasque Flower
©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Pasque flower photo credit Larry Sanders

As I continue my work on the Glass Prairie, I have begun work on another installation with a flower theme, in this case field of them.  This is a gouache study of what will eventually be a wall to floor quilt / piecing / haven't quite figured out....

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Study for Mille fleur Study

Photo credit for the beaded flowers goes to Larry Sanders.


Happy Valentine's Day

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Purple poppy mallow photo credit Larry Sanders

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."  

-- Charles M. Schulz

For Valentine's Day I present to you a purple poppy mallow from my Glass Prairie series.  Why this flower in particular?  It is a member of the Malvacae family as is the cacao tree more commonly known as the chocolate tree!  And what is the best part about Valentine's Day?  Chocolate and flowers, of course!  Never mind that other well known members of the Malvacae family are okra and jute.  Pretty flowers and chocolate are what rule the day.  

Here are a few more flowers to add to your wildflower bouquet:

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Michigan Lily photo credit Larry Sanders

 Michigan Lily

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Queen of the Prairie photo credit Larry Sanders

Queen of the Prairie

May your day be filled with family, friends, flowers and lots of chocolate!

Thank you to Larry Sanders for the photos!


mini bead flower sweetness

 

© 2011 Lindsay Obermeyer beaded flowers by Thelma Schweizer

 


"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."  --  Claude Monet

I've been meaning to post a few images taken of work by Thelma Schweizer. These miniature beaded blossom are just so sweet.  I love the iris and the rose!  

 

© 2011 Lindsay Obermeyer beaded flowers by Thelma Schweizer

 

I never had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Schweizer.  Her daughter contacted me after seeing my Glass Prairie collection.  Her mom had passed away and she had a huge stash of beads for sale. Needless to say, I bought the stash.  They were still labeld as from Czechloslavakia.  It's an honor to work with the materials that someone so obviously treasured.  

I'd never been interested in making miniatures, but after seeing this collection, I am tempted. Tempted enough that I also bought many of her small vases! I think a collection of these little treasures would make a very attractive addition to my collection of pewter miniatures.  Imagine them also gracing a dining table set for Easter dinner or the cheer they would bring to the kitchen window on a cold winter day.    


evening primrose

© 2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Whitest Evening Primrose and Cleland Evening Primrose photo by Larry Sanders

You know the bloom, unearthly white,
That none has seen by morning light-
The tender moon, alone, may bare
Its beauty to the secret air.
Who'd venture past its dark retreat
Must kneel, for holy things and sweet,
That blossom, mystically blown,
No man may gather for his own
Nor touch it, lest it droop and fall....
Oh, I am not like that at all! 
-- Dorothy Parker

My first evening primrose was the yellow Cleland Evening Primrose (see flower on the right).  I planted it along my fence and year after year it returned to light up my garden as dusk fell.  The flower's common name is derived from the simple fact that it blooms as light falls rather than like many flowers which follow the sun.  My father's favorite evening primrose is the Whitest Evening Primrose which he calls the Colorado Evening Primrose as it can be found throughout the state as one hikes the lower elevations of the Rockie Mountains. 

The evening primrose is native to North and South America.  It belongs to the genus Oenothera, which is Greek for "donkey catcher."  Perhaps donkeys have a fondness for the plant, I don't know, but I do know that the plant is edible and high in a variety of healthy essential fatty acids.  I use evening primrose oil to relieve skin inflammation and itchiness.  

Evening primroses make great models for beaded flowers.  Their broad petals are easy to fashion and the variety and subtlety of colors are fun to simulate.  Here's my version of a Missouri Evening Primrose.

©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Missouri Evening Primrose photo by Larry Sanders

The Showy Evening Primrose has pink edges and transitions gradually to yellow towards the center. I used a 26 gauge red-colored copper wire at the time I made it, but I think I will give it another go with some pink Artistic Wire from Beadalon to better blend the wire with the beads.

© 2010 Lindsay Obermeyer Showy Evening Primrose photo by Larry Sanders

Photo credit goes to Larry Sanders.


fireweed, fire pink, tickseed and blanket flower

© 2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Fireweed photo by Larry Sanders

"I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright."   -- Henry David Thoreau

Here's Fireweed, also known as Epilobium angustifolium.  It's common name derives from the plant's responsive growth after fires.  Imagine a field filled with them!

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Fire pink photo by Larry Sanders

Of course, Fireweed is not to be confused by Fire Pink, which isn't pink at all but a firery red.  This deceptively simple looking flower took me several goes to get right.  The petals' tips are serrated and rather tricky to do with beads and wire.  My first few attempts were clumsy and clunky.

Silene_virginica_(closeup)
Blanket flower is so named because of its resemblance to the bright the color work of Native American blankets.  I don't know from which Native American nation this reference derives, but the flower is definitely beautiful.  The plant is especially drought tolerant, so if you have a spot in your garden that is difficult to water, this is your plant.  Extra bonus - it is easy to grow from seed.

© 2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Blanket flower photo by Larry Sanders

And finally I show you my version of Tickseed,  Tall Tickseed to be exact.  It is an excellent flower for the back of your flower border.  I have some growing in a the corner of my garden where I want to block out the view of my neigbor's garage.  When I say tall, this particular variety of tickseed will reach heights of 5 feet or so.  It is also a favorite of butterflies.

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Tickseed photo by Lindsay Obermeyer

Photo credit of beaded flowers goes to Larry Sanders. 


thinking ahead to spring

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Prairie Violet photo by Larry Sanders

"You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet."   --  Hal Borland

A few more flowers from my Glass Prairie series. Violets are among my favorite flowers.  I love their vibrant color and delicate fragrance.

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Arrow-Leaved Violet photo by Larry Sander
Their arrival each spring is a sure sign that winter's frosty spell has finally lifted.  While the Prairie Violet and Arrow-Leaved Violet favor the prairie, the common blue violet can be found throughout one's garden and lawn.  I love to add them to salads for a dash of color and some extra Vitamin C, but this coming spring I think I will make some violet jelly.

These recipes show a gorgeous jelly, light purple in color and sure to be delicious.  Just imagine it with some lemon scones!

The Taste of Spring

A Sustainable Life

Prairieland Herbs