Sunday, November 29, 2015

Valentine Bracelet - A sneak peek

I just did a second test run of the bracelet that I've been blogging about and came up with the perfect solution for making the bracelet a little bit longer without resorting to lots of jump rings and other extensions. The solution was so simple that I can't believe I didn't think of it before. Although I don't have any extra Pinch beads, I did have one extra Montee. I also have some very similar Montees that I'd bought for myself. Instead of being "Clear" ones, mine are called "Silver Shade". The difference between them is very slight so I went ahead and used one of those which gave me two extra Montees.

So, instead of starting the bracelet with a Pinch bead motif, I started with one of the smaller Montee motifs. I also ended the bracelet with the same motif. These two extra smaller motifs made the bracelet just the right size with only one jump ring on each side of the clasp. I'm so glad that I thought of doing this because it looked very awkward with six jump rings and extra seed beads and Kheops beads added to extend the length. The total length of this bracelet is 8 1/2 inches to fit a size 8 wrist.

The weather is overcast today so I couldn't get a very good photo, but you should be able to tell what I did. This is only a sample and I will make the final bracelet using FireLine and do lots of reinforcing, which I didn't do this time. Click on the photo to see it larger.


 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Gold Bead Saga...

We're having a rainy/cloudy spell at the moment so I haven't been able to take beadwork photos in a few days which is partly the reason why I haven't been blogging. I was also busy with preparations for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it looks like it might be a few more days before we see the sun again. In the meantime I'll tell you about my ongoing quest for gold seed beads. I think I've finally settled on the metallic gold seed beads that I will use to make my sister-in-law's "Valentine Bracelet" but it has been quite an ordeal trying to get everything that I need to make the bracelet. You can read my previous posts about the bracelet and the beads HERE, HERE and HERE.

"Valentine Bracelet" Sample

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
    11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
    8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
    Kheops® Par Puca® beads "Jet"
    Pinch beads "24K Gold Plated"
    4.6mm SS19 chaton montees "Clear with a gold setting" (Swarovski #53201)

I didn't have any trouble getting the 24K gold Pinch beads, the black Kheops beads or the montees but I did have to order them from three different sites. You can get the details in my other posts. It was the gold seed beads that gave me such a hard time.

At first I thought that Toho's "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF) would be the closest to the color of the 24K gold Pinch beads but that was before the Pinch beads came in the mail. The Toho seed beads turned out to be a little too pale and they don't look right at all with the real gold color.

Then I found that I had a small tube of some Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" beads in my stash that had come in a bracelet kit. The color is a little darker than the 24K gold beads but I thought it would look fine in this bracelet because there aren't very many seed beads. In any case, it did look much better than the Toho gold beads. I was also pleased that I could use Miyuki 15/0 beads instead of Toho. I thought that issue was settled except that I didn't have any 8/0 beads in that color.

So, I placed an order with Charlene for a small tube of 8/0 gold beads. I only need them for the ends of bracelet to attach the jump rings for the clasp so a tiny 5 gram sample size tube would be more than enough. To make the shipping cost worth my while, I decided to try a couple of other Miyuki Duracoat colors that I didn't have yet and ordered tiny tubes of those as well. One of the colors that I got was "Duracoat Galvanized Gold" (D4202). Goodness knows why I'd never tried that color before but turns out that it's the closest color of all to the 24K gold bead color.

Since I had ordered small tubes of #D4202 in 15/0, 11/0 and 8/0, I thought I was all set to start working on the bracelet. Wrong! The 15/0 and 11/0 beads were perfect but for some reason the 8/0 dye lot was totally different than the two other sizes and was very pale gold like the Toho beads. What a bummer. I contacted Charlene about the problem and she was gracious enough to send me another small tube of 8/0 beads in the correct dye lot from her own personal bead stash. They came in the mail just before Thanksgiving. 


There was only one more roadblock keeping me from starting on the bracelet and that was discovering that I was nearly out of 6 pound smoke FireLine. I placed a quick order for a large spool with Betsy at Red Panda and it arrived in yesterday's mail. Who would have thought that such a simple little bracelet would turn into such a complicated project? Thankfully, I've got a couple weeks to get the bracelet done and in the mail to my sister-in-law in her Christmas package. I'm pretty much done making all of my Christmas presents except for a few last-minute items that I'd like to make if there's time.

While I'm on the subject of bead colors and dye lot issues, I ran into another problem the other day in this regard. I decided that I'd like to make a "Canterbury Bracelet" for someone in the same pretty blue color that I'd used for my own bracelet. I blogged about my blue bracelet HERE.

Canterbury Bracelet

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver-Nickel" (11-464A)
  • 6mm fire polished beads "Stone Blue Luster"
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Transparent Blue Luster"

I had made my bracelet with "Stone Blue Luster" fire polished beads and this "stone" finish has been one of my favorite bead finishes for about as long as I've been beading. I have "Stone Luster" fire polished beads in blue, green, pink and amethyst. Anyway, I wasn't sure if I had enough of the 6mm fire polished beads left to make the bracelet so I ordered some more online last week. I was very disappointed to find that the manufacturer has totally changed the way those beads look. Instead of being a nearly opaque medium shade of blue, they are now translucent and a very pale blue that is nearly white with specks of blue on them. They won't do at all. 


Below is a picture of how those "Stone Blue Luster" beads used to look (and how they looked in the photo on the site that I ordered them from by the way) and then a picture how the beads look now with the new finish. After I saw how different they look compared to my old beads, I did a Google search and found other shops that have them with the new finish in the blue as well as some of the other colors. I wanted to be sure that the batch I got wasn't defective or a fluke and my search confirmed that this wasn't the case. It's a terrible shame that they've changed them because they were such pretty beads.

Old Stone Blue Luster
New Stone Blue Luster


As soon as I'm able to take photos of them, I've got some very pretty earrings to tell you about. They're from a YouTube video tutorial that I tried while taking a break during my Thanksgiving preparations this week. I think you're going to love them. After making a few tweaks to the pattern, I made samples in five different colors which I will show you when I blog about them. I liked two of the color combinations well enough to make some for myself.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nevada Bracelet Color Samples

I bought this bracelet pattern recently and thought I'd look through my CzechMates tile beads and come up with a few color combinations. I tried some out of the ordinary metallic colors and, believe it or not, I didn't use Dark Bronze seed beads at all. I was pleasantly surprised to find that some of the combos worked very well. I have some favorites but I like them all. The pattern is from Vivatutorial on Etsy and you can by it HERE.

As you'll see below, I used a variety of Miyuki and Toho seed beads in my samples. What I found was that I had to add an extra seed bead around each corner when I used Miyuki beads. Other than that slight adjustment, both brands worked equally well with this design.

Here are some ideas to tempt you to give this pattern a try:


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bright Brown Bronze" (457P) *
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bright Brown Bronze" (457P) *
  • CzechMates "Luster Rose Gold Topaz"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Chocolate White"

* I found this color on close-out and I don't think it's available anywhere. The closest color is probably Toho's "Bright Bronze" (221). The Miyuki beads have a little more of a red cast than the Toho beads.


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bright Brown Bronze" (457P) *
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bright Brown Bronze" (457P) *
  • CzechMates "Luster Rose Gold Topaz"
  • SuperDuo beads "Chalk Lazure Red"


  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Montana Gold Luster" (204)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Montana Gold Luster" (204)
  • CzechMates "Milky Turquoise Pink Topaz Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Turquoise Bronze Picasso"


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Light Golden Bronze" (D4204)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Light Golden Bronze" (D4204)
  • CzechMates "Milky Turquoise Pink Topaz Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Halo Heavens"


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • CzechMates "Turquoise Copper Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "Green Turquoise Red Terracotta"


  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Gold Lustered Light Tanzanite" (325)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Gold Lustered Light Tanzanite" (325)
  • CzechMates "Milky Alexandrite Copper Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Purple"


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Mink Bronze" (D4213)
  • CzechMates "Milky Alexandrite Copper Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Violet Dark Travertin"

Just for fun, I thought I'd try turning a motif into an earring. When I added a hook to the top of the motif, it was so wide that it hit my cheek. So, I added a smaller motif on the top so that the earring would hang lower and it's much better that way. I haven't decided if I like it well enough to make into earrings. I do like earrings with two parts like this but I might see if I can come up with a slightly different top section for it. What do you think of it?


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • CzechMates "Turquoise Copper Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "Green Turquoise Red Terracotta"


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bandwidth Bracelet & SuperDuo Flower Chain Earrings


BANDWIDTH BRACELET
  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • SuperDuo beads "Turquoise"

I blogged about this bracelet last month, HERE, and I want to show you the earrings that I made to go with it. They're quick and simple to make and I think they go quite well with the bracelet.

You can buy Angie's "Bandwidth Bracelet" pattern at NannyPinksPassion on Etsy HERE. You can download my free "SuperDuo Flower Chain Earrings" pattern from THIS post.

 
SUPERDUO FLOWER CHAIN EARRINGS
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Permanent Finish Galvanized Starlight" (557PF)
  • SuperDuo beads "Turquoise"



Friday, November 20, 2015

Bracelet of the Day: Esther Silky Bracelet - Lila Vega


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • Silky beads "Alabaster Lila Vega"
  • 8/0 seed beads "Opaque Mauve" (410C - unknown brand)


I think this bracelet goes pretty well with the "Peyote Fan Earrings" that I've blogged about before HERE and HERE. You can download my free "Esther Silky Bracelet" pattern from THIS post or from the list of free patterns on the right hand side of my blog.

I'm making good progress on my Christmas beading so hopefully I'll have a bit more time soon to try some new patterns and also work on some new free patterns.




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Trying a new photo background

PEYOTE FAN EARRINGS
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Matsuno "Silver-Lined Matte Amethyst AB" (F639)
  • 4mm druks "Opaque Amethyst Luster"

I've blogged about these earrings before, HERE, but I wanted to show you the new photo backdrop that I tried today. I got the idea from someone's Etsy shop photos. I think the photo turned out pretty well but I did have to block off the sun that was shining through the windows behind the lamp. In any case, I will keep the lamp in mind for future earring photos.

You can download my free "Peyote Fan Earrings" pattern HERE.

 

Monday, November 16, 2015

YouTube Beading Tutorial: Beaded Earrings with Half Tilas, Superduos and Pinch Beads

I've had this tutorial pinned on my Pinterest board for quite some time but didn't have any Pinch beads to try it out until recently. I think it's a really cute set in the colors that Larissa used. You can read about it on Larissa's The Heart Beading blog HERE and watch her video HERE. Below is the photo of Larissa's pretty set from her blog:

Photo courtesy of The Heart Beading blog
 

I don't have Half Tilas in a lot of color choices but I came up with two color combinations. My first sample has all bronze beads except for the turquoise Superduos. I made this sample as the tutorial directs. For some reason I'm not crazy about the motif with one of the points at the top and a flat bottom, So, for my second sample, I turned the motif so that there is a point on the bottom. I also changed the loop for the earring wire on this one. I do like the earring this way slightly better but I'm not sure if I like either one well enough to make a pair unless I get some Half Tilas in other colors.

By the way, I left off the embellishment in the center of mine because I don't have any "O" beads. Leaving that off doesn't affect the pattern so you can just ignore that part of the video if you don't want to add it. These earrings are a little less than an inch wide.



  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Miyuki Half Tila beads "Dark Bronze" (HT-457)
  • Pinch beads "Bronze"
  • SuperDuo beads "Turquoise Bronze Picasso"


  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Miyuki Half Tila beads "Metallic Green Iris Matte" (HT-2008)
  • Pinch beads "Bronze"
  • SuperDuo beads "Crystal Gold Luster"
 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bracelet of the Day: Valentine Bracelet - Jet & Bronze

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Kheops® Par Puca® beads "Jet"
  • Pinch beads "Bronze"
  • 4.6mm SS19 chaton montees "Silver Shade in a gold setting" (Swarovski Xirus 1088)

I blogged HERE about a bracelet that I've been working on for my sister-in-law. I'm adapting her bracelet from a necklace photo that I saw HERE. I'm still waiting for some gold seed beads that I ordered. So, in the meantime, I thought I'd give the pattern a test run using dark bronze seed beads and some "Silver Shade" montees that I bought at the same time that I bought the montees for the gold bracelet. The "Silver Shade" montees are clear stones like the "Clear" ones that I bought for my sister-in-law's bracelet but the sparkle isn't quite as intense. The slightly subdued look suits my style better and I think they look well with the darker seed beads too. This bracelet is for myself, by the way. I have those bronze Pinch beads that I bought to test the bracelet pattern and they need to be used for something. They're not my favorite beads but I do like them well enough in this little bracelet. I might have enough of the bronze ones left to make one more "Valentine" bracelet but I'll need to buy more montees. I did use a few of the bronze Pinch beads to try out a YouTube tutorial the other day and I will blog about it tomorrow.

I bought the Silver Shade montees HERE at CrystallizedMontees on Etsy.




Here is the sample that I made using gold seed beads and 24K gold Pinch beads so that you can compare it with my bronze version.



When I made my first sample of the bracelet, I used one needle but it was a little tricky making sure that I added the montees right side up. When I made today's bracelet, I used two needles. Although I don't enjoy working with two needles, it did make this design a little easier to make. I only really had one issue and that was trying to tie the two ends of the thread when I got to the end of the bracelet. The threads were very long and kept tangling when I tried to tie them. I wasn't ready to cut them off because I needed to add the second clasp loop and reinforce the bracelet.


You might have noticed that I added some 15/0 seed beads between the Pinch beads and the Montees. I'm pretty sure that the original design doesn't have them or at least I don't see any in the photos. When I made a sample without them, the bracelet was kind of stiff. Adding those tiny beads gives the bracelet more "movement". Another thing that seems to be important is to cross through the montees forming an "X" with the thread. When I went straight through them through their side holes the Pinch beads didn't flare out like petals.

The designer, VinJulEve, adapted this bracelet from her "Mirano" pattern which is for sale on DaWanda HERE.



 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Peyote Fan Earrings - Honeydew


  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Semi Glazed Rainbow Honeydew" (2632 F/c)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Halo Heavens"

These "Semi Glazed Rainbow Honeydew" seed beads are pretty easy to find online. I bought mine from Beadaholique HERE.

 
When I made the earrings that I blogged about yesterday, I added two rows of the 8/0 accent color and then filled in the bottom edge with some 15/0 seed beads. This time I only made one row of the accent color and left the bottom edge scalloped. I like the earrings both ways.

You can download my free "Peyote Fan Earrings" pattern from THIS post.


 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Peyote Fan Earrings - Tanzanite & Moondust


I think this is a pretty color combination. I didn't use any metallic seed beads this time but the tanzanite beads have a gold luster finish that looks metallic. I don't recall where I got all three sizes of these beads but I see that Aura Crystals has them in 11/0 HERE.

I've been collecting 8/0 seed beads with interesting hybrid finishes over the past few months and these "Moon Dust" beads are very unusual. I bought them from Simply Beads, HERE. I did a Google search and I see that Artbeads.com also has them HERE. Auntie's Beads also has them HERE but you have to get on a waiting list.



You can download my free "Peyote Fan Earrings" pattern from THIS post.


  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Light Tanzanite Gold Luster" (325)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Light Tanzanite Gold Luster" (325)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Light Tanzanite Gold Luster" (325)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Hybrid Moon Dust" (Y369)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Montana Blue Luster"
 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Princess Earrings - Montana Blue


I've blogged about Robin Smith's "Princess Earrings" a couple of times, HERE and HERE. I learned how to make them by taking Robin's class at Beadoholique, which is a local bead shop. For this pair of earrings, I went down a size on all of the beads that Robin's pattern calls for to make more dainty earrings. I also left off the dangle at the bottom. I showed you a sample of these blue earrings before in both of those previous posts but I've finally made this complete pair.

The only place where I've seen the "Frosted Montana Blue" druks is at Robin's Beads in the UK, HERE. I've seen regular transparent Montana blue druks but they wouldn't look the same as these. Also, these druks aren't round. They're slightly oval. I've also noticed that the most recent batch of 3mm bronze druks that I have are also oval rather than round. Although I still have some of the old round ones in my stash, I used the oval ones in this pair of earrings because the blue druks are oval. I have no idea why they make a few druk colors oval instead of round but I kind of like the look of them.

There is no pattern for sale to make these earrings but a Russian woman has posted a diagram and a YouTube video showing how to make them. Bear in mind that her method is a little different than the way that I make them. You'll find links to her tutorial and video in my second post mentioned above.


  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 3mm druks "Frosted Montana Blue"
  • 3mm druks "Bronze"
 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Gold Beads - Update

On October 30th, I blogged HERE about a bracelet that I've been working on for my sister-in-law. I'm adapting her bracelet from a necklace photo that I saw HERE. To refresh your memory, below is the sample photo that I posted that was just a test run to figure out the pattern. At the time I didn't have the beads that I'm going to use so I just made the sample with what I had on hand.



Last night I made another sample using the actual beads this time. First I used the gold seed beads that I blogged about in that other post but discovered that they really don't go very well at all with the 24K gold Pinch beads. The gold color is less vibrant and looks "off" next to the Pinch beads. So, I dug through my seed bead stash and came up with an alternative color that looks much better. The color is Miyuki's "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203). It's slightly darker than the Pinch beads but it looks close enough in this design because there are so few seed beads.

The "diamond" montees that I bought to make this bracelet are beautiful. They have amazing sparkle. They're a little larger than the ones that were used in the original necklace photo but I think they look even better. This bracelet is quite thin and the larger montees help fill it out a little more and give it more substance. Below is a sample made with the colors that I will be using:




  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (4203)
  • Kheops® Par Puca® beads "Jet"
  • Pinch beads "24K Gold Plated"
  • 4.6mm SS19 chaton montees "Clear with a gold setting" (Swarovski #53201)

I found a really good source for the montees on Etsy HERE. The 24K gold Pinch beads are from Red Panda. You can by them HERE. The designer,
VinJulEve, adapted this bracelet from her "Mirano" pattern which is for sale on DaWanda HERE.