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These blooms may look as delicate and lovely as a spray of garden roses, but their beauty is not nearly so fleeting. Each blossom, made from hundreds of tiny, glittering beads of colored glass, will last a lifetime, if not centuries.
The craft of making Venetian-glass beaded flowers originated in the late 1400s and experienced a resurgence in the mid-nineteenth century. The blooms shown here, however, are hardly old-fashioned. Alanna Jacobs, an associate art director at Martha Stewart Living, improvised a technique for making exquisite jewel-like blooms and beaded a bouquet of flowers for her wedding. Alanna loves creating things with her hands, so she relished the months of slow and steady beading that went into crafting an entire bouquet, and found the process to be very meditative. The result was a brilliant and bold cluster of flowers even more vibrant than those found in nature.
Inspired by Alanna’s ingenuity, we developed our own assortment of beaded flowers. You can use them for corsages, hair accessories, boutonnieres, and whatever else you dream up. The beaded blossoms will make beautiful gifts, not only for the members of your wedding party, but for the generations to come. Some brides pass down their dresses; you can pass down your handmade bouquet.
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