Saturday, November 29, 2014

After Thanksgiving sales at the local bead shops

I did my part this morning on Small Business Saturday by taking advantage of the "Black Friday" weekend sales at two local bead shops. Beadoholique has 25% off everything in the store today and tomorrow and Beads One has everything 40% off today. I stocked up on some staples and favorite colors and also got some new things to try. I particularly love those pale mauve AB rondelles. Too bad that Beads One doesn't sell some of those pretty new opaque colors on their website.

Here's a photo of all of the goodies that I bought:


 

Playing with my beads...Heracles Earrings

This pattern was a bit of a challenge because it's in French and the designer was very vague about what kinds of beads to use. The result is rather pretty but my sample earring has too many problems to be usable. I really don't know if there is anything that can be done to make the pattern work better so I probably won't bother trying again. The pattern is free for download HERE, if you want to give it a try for yourself.



As far as the beads, there was no mention of the seed beads in the supply list at all and the size isn't given in the instructions either. I'm pretty sure that they are 11/0 beads. Here is the complete supply list with what they are called in the pattern in parenthesis:


  • 11/0 seed beads (rocailles)
  • 6mm bicones (Swarovskis 6mm)
  • 4mm bicones (Swarovskis 4mm)
  • 4mm pearls (rondes de 4mm)
  • 10mm round crystals (rondes de 10mm)

The 10mm round crystals look like these:

 
These are the beads that I used for my sample:

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bronze" (11-457)
  • 10mm crystals "#C25 AB" (Beads One - not available online)
  • 4mm pearls "Cream"
  • 4mm bicones "Dark Rose" (Chinavoski)
  • 6mm bicones "Rose Topaz AB" (Chinavoski)

The pattern calls for 10mm but I think that 12mm crystals might fit better. I don't have any that size or I would have tried it. The 10mm beads just sort of roll around inside of the earring. They should fit tighter to give the earring more structure and stability. The beadwork is too loose and wonky. Also, the round crystal is not attached to the beadwork in any way so it's possible for it to turn around so that the hole is showing through the front of the "bezel". I don't think this would be a problem if the bead was large enough to fit tightly inside the earring.

I used Google Translate on the instructions but it didn't do a very good job. I had to figure out on my own that I needed to repeat the ring of pearls and 4mm bicones on the back of the earring. It's during this step that you insert the large crystal and close up the bezel from the back before adding the loop for the earring wire. I'm not sure if this is explained in the instructions or not. Disregard my wire loop. I didn't make it the way the instructions show and it didn't turn out very well.

You can't really tell the size of the earrings from the photo on the pattern page. They're quite a bit larger than I thought they'd be and quite thick too. The motif is about an inch across at the widest point and about half an inch thick. The front and back look the same.



Friday, November 28, 2014

Printemps Earrings - Pink Coral Moon Dust



PRINTEMPS EARRINGS
  • 15/0 seed beads "Chocolate" (no info available)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (11-461)
  • 4mm bicones "Rose Topaz AB" (Chinavoski)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Pink Coral Moon Dust"
  • 3mm druks "Dark Brown"

After I put the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven yesterday morning, I had a bit of free time before I started the rest of the cooking later in the day. So, I made a pair of Deborah Roberti's "Printemps Earrings" to go with the bracelet that I was wearing. I chose that pattern because it calls for the same kinds of beads that I'd used to make my "Bow Tie Bracelet", which is also one of Deb's patterns. Another reason why this pattern was a good choice was that the beads in the center of the earrings are in the same configuration as the "bow ties" in the bracelet. I was even able to use a 3mm dark brown/copper druk in the center "X" of each earring like I did on the "bow ties" of the bracelet. I followed the pattern with the exception of the loop for the wire at the top. Below is a better view of how I made my loop:


You can get the free earring pattern HERE and the free "Bow Tie Bracelet" HERE at Around the Beading Table. You can read my post about my bracelet HERE.

Note that the bicones don't look nearly as clear as they do in these photos. In reality, the color is like a sparkly version of the color of the fire polished beads. The AB coating keeps them from looking too transparent but the camera couldn't capture that very well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Trestle Bands - Chalk Lazure Blue



TRESTLE BANDS

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (8-457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Chalk Lazure Blue"
  • Half Tila beads "Bronze" (HT-457)
  • 3mm fire polished beads "Brown Gold Champagne" (Nirvana Beads)

I went ahead and made this bracelet to go with the "Marquesa Earrings" that I blogged about yesterday. I was starting to make a bracelet for my cousin when I realized that the Nymo D thread I was using wasn't going to work well. Since I had about four yards threaded on my needle, I decided to make my own bracelet first before threading some FireLine on my needle.

I got the fire polished beads from Spring Beads recently and they're very pretty. They're transparent on one side and have a very soft gold metallic finish on the other. They have a very nice sparkle and I thought that the color was very close to the color of the rivolis in the earrings. For some reason Nirvana calls the same beads slightly different names depending on if they're the 3mm size or the 4mm ones. They call the 3mm beads "Brown Gold" and the 4mm beads are called "Champagne" so I combined the two and called them "Brown Gold Champagne". You can see them on the Nirvana site HERE.

You can buy the "Marquesa Earrings" pattern HERE and the "Trestle Bands" pattern HERE.




Monday, November 24, 2014

Marquesa Earrings - Chalk Lazure Blue

MARQUESA EARRINGS
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki Dark Bronze (11-457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki Dark Bronze (8-457D)
  • 14mm rivolis Swarovski "Silver Shade"
  • SuperDuos "Chalk Lazure Blue"
  • 4mm druks "Bronze"

While making some "Marquesa Earrings" for Christmas gifts the other day, I came up with a color combination that I really liked and wanted to make for myself while I had the beads out and the pattern at hand. I had just enough left of some "Chalk Lazure Blue" SuperDuos in a dye lot that's a lot more blue than I've seen in a long time. I even have enough to make a "Trestle Bands" bracelet to go with them. That was the only bracelet pattern I have that uses only a few SuperDuo beads and that also includes some crystal-type beads that would complement the rivolis in the earrings. I haven't had time to make the bracelet yet so I'll post it here later.


The "Marquesa Earrings" pattern is by Angie Martin and you can buy it in her Etsy shop HERE. The"Trestle Bands" pattern is from Deb Roberti and you can get that one HERE at Around the Beading Table.


If you're wondering why the rivolis in the earrings look like they're a teardrop shape, that's due to Angie's clever method of making a round rivoli fit into a teardrop shaped bezel. 

Now, it's back to my Christmas beading. I've got nine more bracelets to make. Yikes!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Duo Bobble Band - Seafoam & Gold



DUO BOBBLE BAND
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Crystal Gold Luster"
  • 4mm rondelles "Aqua Gold AB #B26" (Beads One)


I actually made this set a while ago for my sister's birthday but I didn't post about it in case she happened to read my blog. I gave it to her yesterday so now I can post about it. The bracelet pattern is by my friend Teejay and is based on Deborah Roberti's "Bobble Bangle" pattern. There is no published pattern for this version but you can buy Deb's pattern HERE and try to work out the changes for making it with SuperDuo beads. The matching earrings were made from Nunzia's "Easy Earrings" video tutorial which you can watch HERE. I make a few little changes when I make them and you can read about what I do in my October 12th post HERE.

EASY EARRINGS
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 4mm rondelles "Aqua Gold AB - #B26" (Beads One)



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Loretta "Deco" Earrings Update

UPDATED EARRINGS
 I blogged about these earrings back in February. I'd been meaning to remake them because I wasn't happy with the way that I'd attached the wires at the top. I prefer to use an 8/0 seed bead at the top for a jump ring to go through and then attach the wire to the jump ring. I was wearing this set the other day and decided to go ahead and remake the earrings or I'd probably never get around to doing it. I like them much better this way. The picture above is the new, improved pair and here are the originals:

OLD VERSION
I also took some better photos of the bracelet that goes with the earrings:



 
Read my February post, HERE, for information on the beads that I used. Unfortunately, the Loretta Earrings pattern is no longer free but you can buy it in Éva Ildikó Kovács' Etsy shop HERE. I made my "Deco Variation" bracelet and earrings slightly different than Éva's original pattern.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Better Photos - Lace Flowers Set


The light was much better this morning so I got some better photos that look more like the actual bead colors. Read yesterday's post, HERE, to get the details on the beads and the patterns.






 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Lace Flowers Variation


LACE FLOWERS BRACELET VARIATION
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (11-457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (8-457L)
  • 6mm rondelles "Lilac Matte AB - #C69" (Beads One - not available online)

This is the same pattern by Ellad2 that I blogged about on July 12 but I only made a single row bracelet this time. The pattern calls for fire polished beads but I wondered if it might work with other 4mm beads as well. So far I've tried some 4mm round crystals, which work very nicely, and I'm sure that 4mm druks or pearls would also work. That day I just happened to have some 6mm rondelles sitting in front of me so, just for the heck of it, I gave those a try too and they worked. The rondelles do stick out a bit but I kind of like the look. I know that I'm supposed to be working on my Christmas beading but this was a quick bracelet to make and so were the Easy Earrings that I made to go with it. 


The color of the crystals in these photos isn't quite right. The color is called "Lilac" but I would call it "Periwinkle" and I couldn't seem to give them the right hint of purple in my photo editor so they look a little too blue here. The color looks more like in this photo from my previous post:


Read my July 12th post about some of the tweaks I made to Ella's pattern, which you can buy HERE.

Here are some of my other experiments. They're all 4mm round crystals except for the larger greenish/turquoise rondelles, which are 6mm. I just bought those rondelles yesterday at Beadoholique. I also got the sage green 4mm round crystals there. I don't have any color info on the crystals that I used but I used Miyuki "Light Bronze (457L)" seed beads for one sample and Miyuki "Dark Bronze (457D)" for the other one.




The matching earrings are Nunzia's "Easy Earrings", which I blogged about HERE and HERE.


EASY EARRINGS
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (8-457L)
  • 4mm rondelles "Lilac Matte AB - #C69" (Beads One - not available online)



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Halo" SuperDuos

After the trouble that I had recently with some Halo fire polish beads (read my post HERE), I've been hesitant to order any SuperDuos with the same finish. Well, a local shop just got some in and they had a 20% off sale over the weekend. That was great because then I could see them in person and decide if I liked them or not and I could also check to see if they have any defects. Spring Beads only had a limited color selection but they did have two of the colors that I wanted the most: Halo Linen and Halo Regal. I haven't had a chance to try them out yet but they appear to be without defects other than the odd plugged hole, which is common with SuperDuo beads.

HALO LINEN
HALO REGAL
A couple of online sources for Halo SuperDuo beads are Red Panda and Aria Design Studio. Aria has the best color selection. Red Panda only has them in two colors. Two other colors that I'd like to buy sometime are Halo Heavens and Halo Shadows.

Deena, the owner of Spring Beads, is trying to talk me into teaching some bead weaving classes there next year. I've never taught a beading class before but I do have a little teaching experience. I taught computer graphics for a few years at a local computer club. I certainly could use the money but I'm not sure yet what pattern(s) I would teach. I'm also a little worried that nobody would sign up for my class. Do any of you live in the Houston area and would you be interested in attending a class taught by me? The shop is in Old Town Spring.

 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Trestle Bands Update - New Clasp Loops


I think I've mentioned before that I make my clasp loops on Deborah Roberti's "Trestle Bands" bracelet a bit different than the pattern suggests. Well, I recently came up with a "New & Improved" clasp loop that I like much better. The new version also allows for adding jump rings to extend the length if necessary.

Here is a photo showing my previous clasp loops:


And here is a close-up of my new loop:

You can buy Deb's pattern HERE.

In case you've been wondering where I've been for so long, I was without my computer for almost two weeks and just got it back a few days ago. I had a lot of stuff to catch up on once I got my computer back. Plus, most of the beadwork that I've been doing lately is for Christmas presents and I don't want to post about them here and spoil the surprise. I will have quite a few projects to post after the holidays and I will try to post something now and then between now and Christmas.