Friday, February 28, 2014

Craft Project: Blue Fairy Fan

I used the Fan Card template from Mirkwood Designs, with a few tweaks, to make this pretty fan for my friend Teejay's birthday last year. It was a little fussy to make but it turned out quite well. I found the tassel at Hobby Lobby where they sell the drapery trims. I'm pretty sure that I also bought the ribbon to connect the blades there as well. It's been a while since I made this so I don't remember exactly how I assembled the fan but I seem to recall that I did have to make some adjustments to the instructions on the Mirkwood site.

Here are the graphics that I made for the fronts and backs of the fan blades:

You can download the full-size images HERE.

I had a sparkly gold gift card box that I'd saved from Christmas and it was the perfect size for wrapping the fan. I made this matching gift card to go on top of the box: 

This is how I wrapped the fan: 

Bracelet of the Day: India Bracelet - Green & Topaz

  • 11/0 seed beads "Copper" (11-457A)
  • 8/0 seed beads "Copper" (8-457A)
  • 4mm rondelles "Brown/Topaz #C29 AB" (Beads One)
  • SuperDuo beads "Blue Turquoise Bronze Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Green Luster"
This is one of my favorite bracelets and I made several of these sets for Christmas presents last year. It was rather a fluke that I came up with this combination of beads. I had just grabbed an assortment of beads to try something with the pattern and realized that they really went well together. That's why I have to keep reminding myself to not be afraid to mix unlikely combinations of bead colors because I never know how they'll look together unless I try it. What I love most about this bracelet is the bit of "AB" sparkle that the rondelles add to the mostly matte SuperDuo beads.

The India Bracelet pattern is for sale HERE.

  • 11/0 seed beads "Copper" (11-457A)
  • 8/0 seed beads "Copper" (8-457A)
  • 4mm rondelles "#C29 AB" (Beads One)
  • SuperDuo beads "Blue Turquoise Bronze Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Green Luster"
I really wanted to make some earrings to go with the gift bracelets because I thought that it might be difficult for the recipients to find store bought earrings in copper and/or in a style that would go with the bracelet. So, I used one motif from the bracelet and embellished it. For the top section of the earring, I used the top motif from Nunzia Scalpore's "Easy Earrings" YouTube video tutorial. I named them "Easy India Earrings" because they have components from the bracelet and the earring patterns.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pattern Review: Farfalle Bracelet

  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Metallic Olive Brown" (11-457H)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Olive Copper Picasso"
  • 6mm round "Crazy Moss Agate" stone beads
  • 4mm corrugated brass beads (from Hobby Lobby)
This is another pattern by Deborah Roberti. You can buy it HERE at Around the Beading Table for $4.00. I wasn't sure at first if I could come up with color combination of beads that I'd be happy with but I'm really pleased with the results. I really didn't want to use bicones and I had these "Crazy Moss" stone beads that I splurged on months ago and hadn't gotten around to using yet. They were perfect for this bracelet. While I splurged on the stone beads, I cheaped out on the 4mm brass beads. I got those on sale for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. I also have some smooth brass ones from Hobby Lobby but I thought the corrugated ones would add an interesting texture to the bracelet.

I didn't change anything about the pattern, which is unusual for me. Well, I must admit that I went ahead and attached half of the clasp right away after making the first motif. That way I only had to leave a long enough tail to weave in later.

Using large stone beads made for a heavy bracelet but it has a nice feel to it. I also got lucky that I didn't have to do anything special to make it fit me. Nine motifs were just right for my size and I kept the clasp loops just as Deb's pattern said to make them.

This pattern is fun to make and the method is a little unusual, or at least I've never made anything quite like it before. 

Bracelet of the Day: Duo Bobble Band - Pewter & Turquoise

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (4222)
  • 3mm pearls "HX17/39" (Beads One)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Baby Blue Stardust"

Teejay made this bracelet for me for Christmas and it's the one that got me started making this pretty pattern. Teejay adapted this version from Deborah Roberti's "Bobble Bangles" pattern. The funny thing with this one is that the pearls are actually a very pale, rosy, bronze color yet they go quite well with the pewter seed beads. As I often find with beadwork, colors almost seem to blend when you combine them. Quite often colors that I'd never think of putting together combine to form a new color that looks really nice. In this case, the pale bronze beads next to the pewter ones create a very soft, warm silver color.

UPDATE 1/24/18: A free pattern is now available and the new name for this pattern is "Lizbeth Band". Visit THIS post to download the free pattern.

These are the earrings I'm wearing today:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Renaissance Bracelet

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 6mm round red howlite stone beads (Beads One - not available online)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Lumi Coated Taupe" (BCP-10310)
This is actually the "Hugs & Kisses" pattern with a slight difference. The 15/0 seed bead netting only goes diagonally across the bracelet in one direction instead of forming "X's". I think that gives it a more contemporary look. I found this free version of the pattern HERE. It's a quick pattern to make and you can use either 6mm druks or 6mm fire polished beads for the centers. You'll want to use good quality 15/0 seed beads for the netting for a neat appearance. The result has the look of very fine chain. When I first showed this bracelet to my husband he was amazed that they were actually beads and that there could actually be beads that tiny.

That reminds me of a tip that I got from my beading "mentor", Teejay, back when I first started beading. I try to incorporate some kind of "metal" beads in nearly all of my beadwork. I think that helps make my beadwork look more like "real" metal jewelry. 

Whenever I wear this bracelet, I like to wear the earrings below with it. The little red dangle beads almost match the red howlite beads perfectly. I found them at Walmart and I don't think I spent more than $2-3 on them.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: SuperDuo Rosette - Variation

  • 11/0 seed beads "Metallic Chocolate" (CB-11-461)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Hybrid Opaque Grey Picasso" (TBRD8-Y312)
  • SuperDuo beads "Matte Ultra Green Luster"
  • 3mm Druks "Jet Copper Picasso"
The last time I posted one of these bracelets, I had made the pattern pretty much as written. This time I switched out the 15/0 seed beads with 11/0's and the 11/0 accent beads with 8/0 Hybrid Picasso beads.

You can buy this pattern in Sam Wescott's Etsy shop HERE.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Moon Ring Bracelet Variation

  • 11/0 seed beads Toho “Antique Bronze” (TR-11-223/c)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho “Opaque Oxblood (TR-08-46c)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki “Opaque Tan” (8-440)
  • SuperDuo beads “Luster Gold”
I wanted to post this as my "Bracelet of the Day" as soon as I had finished making it but I couldn't. I sent it to Teejay in England a couple weeks ago and I didn't want to spoil the surprise. She received my package today so now I can post about it.

Quite a few months ago, I made a little sample from Deborah Roberti's "Moon Ring Bracelet" pattern but used all seed beads instead of the fire polished beads called for. It worked quite well with seed beads but I never got around to making a bracelet that way until a couple weeks ago. Since making my sample all that time ago, I started buying SuperDuo beads and discovered that they would make marvelous connectors between the motifs. Now I'm glad that I waited to make this bracelet because the SuperDuo beads really add a nice touch.

Here's how my original sample looked:


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Canterbury Bracelet

  • 11/0 seed beads Matsuno "Copper" (11-457A)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Lt. Caramel Ceylon" (11-593)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Lumi Coated Green" or "Transparent Green Luster"
  • 6mm fire polished beads "Lumi Coated Green" or "Transparent Green Luster

This is one of my favorite patterns and is from Nancy Peterson. You can buy the pattern HERE. I've made it quite a few times but I always leave off the last row of embellishment for a narrower bracelet. UPDATE 3/9/2021: Nancy is no longer selling her beading patterns but she has graciously allowed me to post her "Canterbury Bracelet" pattern on my blog as a free download. To download a copy, please visit THIS post. Here are some samples that I made that show how the pattern looks with and without the various rows of embellishment:

The pattern also works quite well with 6mm druks instead of fire polished beads:

I made this particular bracelet as a gift for my friend, Teejay. I didn't write down the beads I used but they're most likely the ones I've listed above or very similar.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Double Diamond with Pearls

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Aquamarine Celsian"
  • 4mm ivory pearls
I thought I'd try something a little different today with my beadwork photos. Sometimes my beading mat doesn't allow the true colors and finishes of the beads to show very well. I have to admit that I detest taking photos but I hate even more when I can't get good photos. Since photos are an absolute necessity here on this blog, as are the food photos that I take for my diet recipe site, I muddle through and do the best that I can. I think that today's pictures turned out quite well on the Victorian card backgrounds so I'll probably do something like that again when they suit the style of the beadwork.

Today's bracelet pretty much follows the pattern that I found on THIS very old site. After stitching the base of the bracelet, I went back down the length and added a pearl in the center of each motif.

UPDATE:  The website above is no longer online. THIS pattern is very similar and the link is still active.

UPDATE 5/27/23: I removed a link in this post because it went to an infected website.

  • 4mm bicones "Sea Foam" (Cousin brand from Walmart)
  • 4mm bicones Swarovski "Sand Opal"
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 3mm  pearls "Bronze - HX30/13" (Beads One)

Today's earrings don't exactly match the bracelet but the color scheme is very close. I have no idea where I found this pattern. I only know that it came from an Italian beadwork magazine. I found a really lousy scan of the pattern somewhere online and had to guess what kinds of beads they used and then tweak the pattern to work with the beads that I had on hand. Here is the photo from the original pattern:


Friday, February 21, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Ophelia Bracelet

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki “Dark Bronze” (11-457D)
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki “Dark Bronze” (15-457D)
  • 4mm bicones “Jet Hematite” (#C36 - Beads One)
  • 3mm fire polished beads “Smoky Topaz Luster”
I just tried this pattern from Deborah Roberti for the first time yesterday. It turned out great but I had to make an adjustment to get the motifs to lay flat because apparently some fire polished beads are larger than others. If you use larger fire polished beads, they can cause the motifs to warp. To fix that problem, I used 15/0 seed beads on either side of the corner fire polished beads instead of the 11/0 beads called for in the pattern. This pattern is quick and easy to make. You can buy Deb's pattern HERE for $5.00. The pattern includes the Ophelia Necklace.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Crystal Tile Bracelet - Black & Ivory

  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Hybrid Antiqued Metallic Black" (TY-11-Y0503)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Opaque Champagne Luster"
  • 4mm bicones "Grey Dark Silver #C36" (Beads One)
This is one of Deborah Roberti's patterns called "Crystal Tile Bracelet". I've made the pattern in a few different colors now and they all came out very nice. You can buy the pattern HERE for $4.00.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Duo Bobble Band - Pale Green

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 3mm druks "Champagne" (Nirvana Beads)
  • SuperDuo beads "Chalk Copper Picasso"
The funny thing about this bracelet is that there aren't any green beads in it yet the end result is the appearance of pale green. As far as I know, the "Chalk Copper Picasso" SuperDuo beads that I used are only available in this Etsy shop: Wandering Star Beads. I bought the "Champagne" druks locally at Beadoholique and they're from Nirvana Beads. Those are two of my favorite bead colors so it's a shame that they're so hard to find. 

UPDATE 1/24/18: A free pattern is now available and the new name for this pattern is "Lizbeth Band". Visit THIS post to download the free pattern. 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Waves of Wonder - Garnet

  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Bronze" (TR-11-221/c)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Cream Opaque" (11-493)
  • 6mm fire polish beads "Garnet"
Here is Waves of Wonder in another color combination. I made this bracelet so long ago that I don't remember what the fire polish beads were called and I didn't write it down anywhere. I found some that look the same on the Beadaholique site HERE. I do remember that they were some of the very first fire polished beads I ever bought back when I first started beading. I got them on my first visit to Spring Beads in Old Town Spring. I remember that I also bought these two colors that day:

4mm "Iris Blue Milky Dark Peridot":

4mm "Matte Brown Iris":

Being so new to beading I was awed that there could be such beautiful beads. I used the aqua ones to make a bracelet for myself and these earrings for a friend:

I'll post the bracelet as a Bracelet of the Day sometime.

I bought these earrings quite a few years ago and the funny thing is, until I took the photo of them yesterday, I never noticed that they had put them on silver earring wires. I've now switched them to some bronze wires.