Monday, March 17, 2014

Playing with my beads...

A while back I found this earring photo on Pinterest:
I have no idea where it came from originally but I happened to see them again the other day and wondered where I might find the pattern to make them. I got to thinking that there was a very good chance they would turn out to be made from one of Deborah Roberti's patterns. Sure enough, it's her Alexandra Earrings pattern, which you can buy HERE for only $3.00. I don't have that earring pattern but I do have Deb's Alexandra Bracelet pattern and easily adapted it into earrings. I used all bicones like the ones in the photo. Deb's pattern calls for bicones and fire polished beads.

One thing that I noticed that was different about the earrings in that photo, is that the center bicones are slightly mounded so that the earrings aren't flat like the ones in Deb's pattern photo. I really like how that looks. It pulls the bicones closer together into more of a circle in the center. It was easy enough to do that during the step where you weave around the outer edge of the motif to reinforce it. Just pull the thread very snug to bring the bicones and pearls up tight in the center. That part of the earring will be cupped on the back but the pointed corners remain relatively flat.

Here are the sample earrings that I made the other day:

The two on the left are very similar to a pair of earrings that I posted HERE back on February 22. They're the Zarcillo Earrings and they are quite a bit like Deb's pattern, or at least they are the way that I made mine. The differences are that Deb's have seed bead points on the sides and the Zarcillo Earrings only have a bottom point with a drop bead. The Zarcillo Earrings also only have seed beads in the center and no pearls. Obviously it works either way and you could easily add a drop bead to the Alexandra Earrings if you wanted.
After making my earring sample on the far left, I wondered if I could make the bicones form a diamond shape instead of a square and the second earring from the left is the result of that experiment. I don't like the wide points on the sides on that one. The look is too angular. If you like that version, all I did was add the seed bead points around the outside bicones instead of around the pearls.

The sample on the far right is nearly identical to the ones in the photo I found online. That's my favorite color combination but I'm not sure if I like how they look when I wear them. I have dark hair so the black bicones sort of disappear and all you see is a "cross" formed by the light bicones. It's funny that you can't see that at all in the photo.

Here are the beads that I used in my samples (from left to right):

Seafoam/Opal Earrings:

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 3mm druks "Bronze"
  • 4mm bicones "Seafoam" (Cousin - AJM66011006)
  • 4mm bicones Swarovski "Sand Opal"
Purple Earrings:
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 3mm druks "Bronze"
  • 4mm bicones "Amethyst" (#C12 - Beads One)
  • 4mm bicones "Lavender" (no color info available)
Black & Silk Earrings:
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 3mm druks "Bronze"
  • 4mm bicones "Golden Shadow" (#C25 AB - Beads One)
  • 4mm bicones "Jet Hematite" (#C36 - Beads One)


  1. Thanks, Linda! These are all lovely! The first picture is from Paula Motsinger Meyncke. They are still at her Artfire store:

    I supersized all of the beads and made some nice Christmas ornaments from this design last winter :)

  2. Please tell me what kind of wire or thread you use. I can’t get my work to hang right...too floppy

    1. I mostly use Nymo D thread and that is probably what I used for these earrings. I only use 6lb Fireline for special projects because it is expensive. For fringe earrings I use Nymo B, which is finer that D.