Sunday, October 11, 2015

Playing with my beads...Bicones - Cyclamen Opal

SWAROVSKI CYCLAMEN OPAL BICONES

Back in August I blogged HERE about some pretty 4mm bicones that I had splurged on. For the past few days I've been looking through bracelet patterns that call for bicones and making lots of samples in each color to try and figure out what I want to make with them. I'm going to post the samples as a series featuring each bicone color as a separate post. After making at least two or three pattern samples in each color, I'm pretty sure of what I want to make but there are some that I'm still undecided on. I actually have enough of some of the bicones to make more than one bracelet in those colors as well as matching earrings for most of them. Since I will be making all of the bracelets in this bicone series for myself, I will probably wait until after my Christmas beading is done to get started on them.

Today's post is about Swarovski's "Cyclamen Opal" 4mm bicones. I bought these some time ago and I thought I knew what I was going to make with them when I bought them. I even bought exactly the number of beads that I'd need so that I wouldn't waste money buying extras. After making some bracelet samples, I've changed my mind about the pattern I was originall planning to use. For one thing, I had some trouble finding a metallic seed bead color that I liked with these. Silver seemed to make them look blah and dark bronze didn't look well at all. I tried a couple other golds and bronzes but wasn't happy with them either. In the end, I've gone back to silver seed beads but with a different pattern that features the bicones in a different way. With this particular pattern, the bicones aren't surrounded by seed beads and that seems to make all the difference.

I used Deborah Roberti's "Venetian Bands" pattern for my first two samples below. I started with shiny silver seed beads but they looked too bright next to the bicones. The bicones became almost invisible. Pewter didn't work any better and it looked too flat. My first sample below has one motif in silver and the other motif has pewter beads.

With dark bronze seed beads the lavender pearls stood out too much and that wasn't the look that I wanted. Why spend a small fortune on Swarovski bicones if they're not the main feature of the bracelet?

So, as I mentioned, I went back to silver and the perfect pattern is another one of Deb's called "Craving Crystal Bracelet". The pearls are toned down by using only one per motif. And, there are no seed beads above or below the purple bicones to detract from the pretty color of them. This design doesn't use a lot of seed beads, which is another good thing, but there are just enough to make the bracelet look like jewelry. There is one small problem with using this pattern. I only have 40 of these bicones and I will probably need 48 to make the bracelet in my size. I will either buy a few more, and hope that the dye lot hasn't changed, or I will try to extend the length of the bracelet somehow with some sort of motif made with only silver seed beads. Since I won't be short by too many beads, I'll probably go with the second option.

It may seem a little odd to combine expensive Swarovski crystals with cheap Chinese glass pearls but I really like the lavender color and I already had them on hand. The pearls in the "Venetian Bands" samples are 3mm and the ones in the "Craving Crystal Bracelet" are 4mm. Although they're called the same color on the labels, they aren't quite the same in reality. The 4mm pearls are a little more blue and the 3mm ones have more of a pinkish cast. I like them both and they both seem to go pretty well with the Cyclamen Opal bicones.

You can buy the bicones at Artbeads.com HERE, or Aura Crystals HERE. The pearls are from Beads One and you can buy those HERE. You can buy the "Venetian Bands" pattern HERE and the "Craving Crystal Bracelet pattern HERE.


Venetian Bands (about 28 bicones)

  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Silver" (711)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 4mm bicones Swarovski "Cyclamen Opal"
  • 3mm pearls "Lilac - #19" (Beads One)


Venetian Bands (about 28 bicones)

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 4mm bicones Swarovski "Cyclamen Opal"
  • 3mm pearls "Lilac - #19" (Beads One)


Craving Crystal Bracelet - Band #2 (about 48 bicones)

  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Silver" (711)
  • 4mm bicones Swarovski "Cyclamen Opal"
  • 4mm pearls "Lilac - #19" (Beads One)
 

4 comments:

  1. Love the craving crystals sample the bicones are the star in that sample very pretty.Ann

    ReplyDelete
  2. Craving Crystal.
    Where is the pattern located?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a link to the pattern in my post above. Look just above the first sample photo.

      Delete