Friday, June 27, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Tweaked Stacker - Milky Alexandrite

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Violet Travertin"
  • CzechMates "Milky Alexandrite Copper Picasso"
After Deborah Roberti asked me if she could post my Stacker tweak as a free pattern on her site, I thought I would try my version using different beads to see if there might be any unforeseen problems. You see, I'd only made my version once when I made the Capri Blue bracelet for my friend's birthday. It's the one that I posted HERE on June 9th. Although I love the eye-popping blue of the first bracelet, I love the soft, subtle colors of this one even more.

I didn't run into any issues with this bracelet but I did with the next sample that I made. For that one I used some Miyuki "Bronze" (457) seed beads that are a bit fatter than the "Dark Bronze" (457D) seed beads that I used in today's bracelet as well as the blue one. The result was horribly wonky as you can see in this photo:

You shouldn't have any trouble with the pattern though as long as you avoid using 11/0 seed beads that are a little larger than usual. Deb added a tip to the tutorial to help you avoid any problems.

If you want to try the tweaked version, you'll need to download Deborah Roberti's free "Stackers" pattern HERE and the tweaked pattern HERE. Read through the tweaked version first because it explains which steps to follow in the original tutorial and when to add the tweaks.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Bobble Bangle - Turquoise Pink Luster

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (11-461)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Opaque Dark Teal Picasso" (8-4516)
  • 4mm druks "Turquoise Pink Luster"

You can see how just changing the bead colors with the same pattern produces a completely different look. Yesterday's Bracelet of the Day looked very monochrome. The colors in today's bracelet are subtle but there's a lot more contrast between the seed beads and the druks which really shows off the lacy design of Deb's pattern. The Chocolate seed beads look slightly more copper than bronze so I went with a copper magnet clasp on this one. As you can see, I used two copper jump rings on each end to make this one fit me correctly. This bracelet has a very soft, flexible feel.

You can buy the pattern at Around the Beading Table HERE.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Bobble Bangle - Sandjet

  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Hybrid Antiqued Metallic Black" (TY-11-Y503)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (TR-11-223/c)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Hybrid Antiqued Metallic Black" (TBRD8-Y503)
  • 4mm round agate beads "Sandjet" (Beads One - not available online)

I've wanted to make today's bracelet, as well as tomorrow's, for the longest time. I had the round beads for them set aside since way back when Deb first came out with her "Bobble Bangles" pattern, which you can buy HERE. This is the pattern that Teejay adapted to come up with her "Duo Bobble Band" pattern which I've written about so many times. She basically used 2-hole SuperDuo beads in place of the two 4mm round beads that go down the center of Deb's version. She also made a few other little changes to make her clever idea work.

At first glance, you might think that I used very little "metal" in this one; pretty much just the bronze accent beads going down the center. But, the black seed beads actually have a slightly metallic finish and I love how they look next to the matte agate beads. I think this bracelet will go well with pretty much any outfit that has some black in it.

To make this bracelet fit me correctly, I had to attach my magnet clasp with jump rings. So, I added 8/0 seed beads on both ends for the jump rings to go through. I had to attach two jump rings on each end on tomorrow's bracelet because that one came out slightly shorter than the black one. That's because the turquoise druks I used are a little larger than the agate beads. You might think they  would make the bracelet LONGER but that's not the case. Because the druks are fatter, they caused the seed bead base to expand width-wise which made it a little shorter.

I decided to use a dark gun metal colored clasp on this even though the accent seed beads are bronze. I thought that a bronze clasp would stand out too much against all the black beads and the clasp I used is so dark that it's almost black. In this instance, I don't think that mixing "metals" was a bad thing to do. The only thing I did differently than Deb's instructions was to replace the middle seed bead on each end with an 8/0 seed bead for the jump rings. When I wove around to reinforce the clasp loop, I skipped the 8/0 bead to pull the 11/0 beads on either side closer together to form a "V".

I take that back. I also added the accent beads down the center of this bracelet. I added them in Step 4 of the pattern. When you add the three 11/0 seed beads on the outside of the motif, replace the middle one with your accent color. It's important to make sure that the accent beads end up on the right hand side, which will be the inside of the bracelet when you attach the second side. When you look at the diagram in Step 12 of the pattern, the accent beads should be in every other motif starting with the second one. An un-accented motif MUST be the first motif with its point facing left due to the way the clasp part of the bracelet is added on later. I learned this the hard way and had to start over.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Craving Crystal - Lavender & Jet

Craving Crystal Band #4
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bronze" (11-457)
  • 4mm druks "Jet Matte"
  • 4mm bicones "Lavender" (no info available)
  • 6mm rondelles "Jet" (no info available)

This is the fifth and final "Craving Crystal" bracelet and I like this one very much. However, I couldn't make it fit my size so I added a couple of extra motifs and I will give it to someone as a gift. I'm sure that I could have tweaked it somehow to make it fit but I'll do that another time. It was nearly done anyway so I went ahead and finished it. I also had the same problem with the other Band #4 that I posted on Wednesday, HERE, but it's only a little bit loose. That one fits differently because the 6mm druks are wider than the rondelles I used in this one. It's also possible that using fire polished beads instead of bicones affected the size.

You can buy Deb's pattern HERE.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Craving Crystal - Apollo Gold

Craving Crystal Band #3
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (11-457L)
  • 4mm druks "Matte Apollo Milky Pink"
  • 4mm bicones "Pale Bittersweet" (no info available)

I was pleased to find that I had some bicones that go quite well with my 4mm "Matte Apollo Milky Pink" druks. That's a difficult color to match up but there are bits of a peachy color in with the pale purple on the druks that's pretty close to the same color as the bicones.

When I made the "Craving Crystal" bracelets that have the motifs with six druks, I added a couple of extra steps to make the center "X" of the larger motifs a bit tighter. When I went back around one side of the motif to add the first strings of netting, I first made a quick pass back around through the druk, center 11/0 seed bead and the druk on that side before going back around to add the netting. I do the same thing on the other side of the motif before adding the last of the netting. It seemed to make a difference in the stability and shape of the motif.

Click HERE if you'd like to buy Deb's pattern.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Craving Crystal - Green

Craving Crystal - Band #2
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 4mm druks "Green Luster" (Robin's Beads - UK)
  • 4mm bicones "Emerald" (no info available)

This is the second variation of Deb Roberti's new "Craving Crystal" pattern, which you can buy HERE. I got the green bicones from the "Chinavoski" bin at the local bead shop so there is no color information for them. My friend, Teejay, sent me the druks for Christmas. I've never seen that color locally or on any of the US bead sites. She found them at Robin's Beads, which is a UK bead site. They have quite a few druks in colors that aren't available anywhere else that I know of. And, they have a very good selection of them in 3mm, which is a hard size to find in good colors. Teejay also sent me some that turned out to be the same as my "Chalk Lazure Blue" SuperDuo beads but they call them "Blue Luster". Robin's Beads has free shipping if you live in the UK.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Craving Crystal - Amethyst

Craving Crystal Band #1
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver/Nickel" (11-464A)
  • 4mm druks "Amethyst"
  • 4mm bicones "#C47" (Beads One)
I knew I wanted to use "Antique Silver/Nickel" seed beads for this one because of the silver highlights in the bicones and I like silver with purple and amethyst. But, just before starting on it, I remembered that I had another small tube of them in my stash that I thought was a bad batch and hadn't been using them. The holes in them are a little smaller than usual and the shape isn't quite as round and nice as Miyuki seed beads usually are. Whenever I'd tried using them, I'd always get to a point where I couldn't get my needle through. Looking at the design of this bracelet, I thought I might be able to use those beads because there aren't too many spots where the needle has to go through many times. Although the beads don't look quite as nice as my other batch of that color, the bracelet still came out nice. It was while putting away the extra beads on my mat that I discovered why those silver beads were so different. Suddenly, a couple of them jumped up and stuck to the magnet clasp on the bracelet. Apparently the shop accidentally put real metal seed beads in the tube and labeled them as glass ones.

Click HERE to buy the pattern from Around the Beading Table.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Craving Crystal - Gold & Smoky Topaz

Craving Crystal - Band #4
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 4mm druks "Champagne" *
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Opaque Gold & Smoky Topaz Luster"
  • 6mm druks "Opaque Gold & Smoky Topaz Luster"
* These were part of a druk assortment from called "Opaque Brown Luster Mix".

My intention was to post one of each of the variations of Deborah Roberti's newest pattern in numerical order. The problem is that, although I've already made four of them, the one that I haven't finished yet is Band #1. So, today I'll start by posting the extra Band #4 that I made with fire polished beads instead of bicones. So, there are no crystals at all in this one and it's a little bit more "grungy" than the others I'll be posting. If you'd like to know how I made my clasp loops for this bracelet, as well as the rest of them that I will be posting, check out my post from April 18th, HERE.

Click HERE to buy Deb's pattern.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Playing with my beads...Starlight Earrings

I spent a few days trying every way that I could think of to make the "Starlight Bracelet" pattern work without success. I'm sure that there's nothing wrong with the pattern. The problem is that I don't have any 2mm round crystals and the pattern calls for 128 of them. I found some on THIS site but it would cost over $19 for that many. I do have some 2mm Czech pearls, which I thought might work, but they don't. They're apparently slightly larger than the 2mm crystals Kelly Wiese used in her bracelets and they cause the motifs to warp and go all wonky. I had no trouble at all making the bezels with the pearls, just the motifs that connect the bezels.

Here's a photo of one of my better attempts with the bracelet pattern:

I eventually gave up on the bracelet and decided to turn the pretty bezels into earrings. I didn't change anything about the bezels themselves, other than using pearls instead of crystals, and then I attached the earring wires like I did with my "Tiny Treasures Earrings" which I posted about HERE.
First I made a couple of samples using 12mm round rivolis, as directed by the pattern, but then I got the idea to try using some 12x10mm oval chatons. The ovals work very well and I like the slightly oval shape of the earrings even better than the round ones. You see, the round stones come to a point in the center and the oval ones have flat tops. For some reason, even though they're a little smaller than the round rivolis, more of the surface of the oval chatons shows through the opening in the bezel, I suspect because of the flat top. In any case, I have a lot more oval stones than round ones and in a lot more colors. I came up with six different color combinations of chatons, 3mm bicones and 2mm pearls.
Here are my two round sample earrings:

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 12mm round rivolis "Black"
  • 3mm bicones "Green-Pink-Yellow" (Chinese - no info available)
  • 2mm pearls "Dark Sage Satin" (Czech - Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 12mm round rivolis "Seal"
  • 3mm bicones "Bittersweet AB" (Chinese - no info available)
  • 2mm pearls "Old Lace" (Czech - Aria Design Studio)
And, these are the samples with oval chatons:

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 12x10mm oval chatons "Amethyst"
  • 3mm bicones "Amethyst AB" (Chinese - no info available)
  • 2mm pearls "Light Bronze Satin" (Czech - Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 12x10mm oval chatons "Aquamarine"
  • 3mm bicones "Amethyst AB" (Chinese - no info available)
  • 2mm pearls "Old Lace" (Czech - Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 12x10mm oval chatons "Light Amethyst #4120"
  • 3mm bicones "Amethyst AB" (Chinese - no info available)
  • 2mm pearls "Light Champagne" (Czech - Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 12x10mm oval chatons "Pale Peach"
  • 3mm bicones "Light Topaz AB" (Chinese - no info available)
  • 2mm pearls "Old Lace" (Czech - Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 12x10mm oval chatons "Topaz"
  • 3mm bicones "Bittersweet AB" (Chinese - no info available)
  • 2mm pearls "Old Lace" (Czech - Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 12x10mm oval chatons "Amethyst"
  • 3mm bicones "Black" (Chinese - no info available)
  • 2mm pearls "Light Bronze Satin" (Czech - Aria Design Studio)
I'm not sure which ones are my favorites, but I really like the oval one with the dark amethyst stone and satin pearls. To tell the truth though, they all look very much the same against my dark hair. I love the one with the black bicones but the pearls stand out a bit too much because the black bicones don't show up. If you'd like to give the Starlight Bracelet pattern a go, you can buy it HERE.

In case you haven't seen it yet, Deb Roberti has a pretty new bracelet pattern out as of last night. It's called "Craving Crystal". I'm working on some today which I will post as Bracelets of the Day, hopefully in the next few days.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Pearl Earrings

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 10mm round crystal "C12 AB" (Beads One)
  • 4mm bicones "C29 AB" (Beads One)
  • 4mm druks "Gold & Smoky Topaz Luster"

These are the earrings that "Anonymous" gave me the "recipe" for in the comments of my May 6th post HERE. I also wrote about them on May 25th, HERE. I decided that this was my favorite color combination of all of the samples that I made but, as you'll see below, I've since made five more pretty samples now that I've got some new 10mm crystal colors. Beads One had buy 1/get 1 strand free this week so I bought four new colors. The only reason that I call them "Pearl Earrings" is because that was the name of the YouTube ring tutorial that started this whole thing and it stuck.

UPDATE: I have found the original "Victoria's Crown" pattern for sale on Etsy. You can buy it HERE at mindmyownbeadsness.

You definitely need to use fine thread and a size 12 needle to make these. Use either FireLine or Nymo B. Even so, I still had trouble getting through some of the beads as many times as I would have liked. I really wanted to reinforce the embellishment a few times but in the end I could only reinforce the inner ring of beads for the most part.

Another thing that I discovered while making the final pair of earrings was that it's best to add the embellishment netting to both sides of the earrings even though you won't see the backs. Without those beads, the earrings are too prone to collapsing or going wonky. The extra netting stabilizes them and keeps them nice and straight. Another benefit of the extra netting on the back is that it gives you a nice place to weave in your threads later.

Below are five new samples that I just made. Each one is made with a different color 10mm crystal and some other combination of beads so that they're all a little different from each other in some way. I've named them based on the color of the 10mm crystal I used to make them. I think you can tell that I'm particularly fond of crystals with a "AB" (aurora borealis) finish. I love that sparkle. The only one that's not "AB" is #C50 but they do have a similar finish on them. Unfortunately, a couple of the colors aren't available on their website, only in the store. I also see one color online that I'm pretty sure they didn't have in the store. It's color #C51. I'm sure they must not have had it or I would have bought some for sure. I've linked the two missing colors to their rondelle counterparts on the Beads One site so you can see what they look like.

SAMPLE #1 - C29 AB
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 10mm round crystal "#C29 AB" (Beads One)
  • 4mm bicones "Smoked Topaz AB - #C29 AB" (Beads One)
  • 6x12mm drops "Amethyst AB" (no info available)
SAMPLE #2 - C25 AB
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 10mm round crystal "#C25 AB" (Beads One - not online)
  • 4mm pearls "Light Bronze - 39/HX17" (Beads One - not online)
SAMPLE #3 - C26 AB
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 10mm round crystal "#C26 AB" (Beads One)
  • 4mm bicones "Light Colorado AB - #C26 AB" (Beads One - not online)
  • 6x12mm drops "#C26" (Beads One - not online)
SAMPLE #4 - C12 AB
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver/Nickel" (15-464A)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver/Nickel" (11-464A)
  • 10mm round crystal "Amethyst AB - #C12 AB" (Beads One)
  • 4mm bicones "#C12 AB" (Beads One)
SAMPLE #5 - C50
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 10mm round crystal "#C50" (Beads One)
  • 4mm bicones "Vitral Green - #C50" (Beads One)
One thing that I've learned, since I started making beaded earrings, is that you really need to try them on to see how they look against your hair. No matter how pretty they might look while making them, they might look completely different once you put them on. Some beads and colors can sort of disappear and become almost invisible. Other beads, such as pearls, have a tendency to jump out at you and be the only thing that you see. If you've got light colored or very short hair, some of these things won't be an issue for you. Below are my comments about each of the five new samples so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about:

Sample #1: This is one of the best color combos. The crystals are dark and bold enough that they show up well against my hair. They're also close enough to the color of the seed beads that those don't stand out too much.

Sample #2: I love how these look when I have them on. I like pearls but I don't like when there are only a small number of them in an earring because then all you see is the pearls. They work perfectly here though because there are enough of them that they completely encircle the earring. I also like them because they're not a bright white or cream. The pale bronze is a little more subdued yet still "pearly". The brightness of the pearls evens out the shine of the seed beads. Great combination!

Sample #3: The colors are very pale but they do work pretty well because no beads stand out too much and they don't become invisible when I have them one. The effect is a neutral color and they're very sparkly. They'd go with pretty much anything.

Sample #4: This combination works somewhat well but it's a little tricky working with silver colored beads. They have a tendency to look too much like beads and not enough like metal for some reason. Although I do like this one, the dark center crystal does emphasize the circle of silver seed beads surrounding it a little too much. It's very important to make neat netting with silver seed beads next to very dark beads because imperfections and crooked netting will be very noticeable.

Sample #5: The circle of seed beads around the center crystal stand out a little more than I'd like but they're not too bad. The green color doesn't show up against my dark hair every well and they do look a little faded but not quite invisible.

So, my two favorites of the bunch are #1 and #2. I will definitely make both of those for myself.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Duo Bobble Band - Lavender & Silver

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Light Pewter" (4221)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Violet White Luster"
  • 4mm rondelles "Vitral Purple" (Chinese)

 This bracelet and earring set was another gift for my friend's birthday. I used my favorite "Duo Bobble Band" pattern for her bracelet and the earrings were something that I came up with based on some photos that I saw on Pinterest. The problem with Pinterest is that sometimes it's impossible to track down where something originated because it's been re-pinned so many times. I have no idea where these came from or if there's a pattern available but it was simple enough to turn the bracelet motif into earrings. These are the photos that I found on Pinterest:

I'm pretty sure that they were both from the same site. Please post in the comments if you know where they came from. I really liked the colors they used so I used beads that I had on hand to come up with a similar color scheme. I call these my "Lucy Earrings":

  • 15/0 seed beads "Grayish Purple Hematite" (no info available)
  • SuperDuo beads "Pearl Luster" (Nirvana)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Violet White Luster"
  • 4mm bicones "Purple AB" (Chinese)

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