Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bracelet of the Day: Roulette Bracelet - Turquoise & White

  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons "Luster Opaque White"
  • SuperDuo beads "Turquoise" (2x5mm not 2.5x5mm)

I found this free tutorial on the Handmade Jewelry Club website HERE. They call it "Turquoise Roulette". Although today's bracelet IS turquoise, I left off the "Turquoise" part of the name because it can be made in any color. The original pattern is made with 9mm pearls, 11/0 and 6/0 seed beads. They probably meant to say "8mm" pearls because I don't think they make 9mm pearls and they would be too big anyway. Another typo is where it says that you'll need 15/0 seed beads. There are no 15/0 beads mentioned in the tutorial. I've swapped out the 8mm pearls for 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons and they work perfectly. I used Toho seed beads and replaced the 6/0 bead that are called for with 8/0 beads. Miyuki seed beads don't work well for this because they're too small and they cause the motifs to pucker. I have to admit that I didn't follow the steps of the tutorial exactly but I don't see any reason why these substitute beads wouldn't work using their method. There's no need for the stopper bead that they mention in the first step because you will go through all of the beads to make a circle anyway.

After successfully making three of these bracelets, I ran into a big issue while trying to make a fourth one. After LOTS of experimenting, I've determined that it makes a difference which size SuperDuos you use. Oddly enough, I don't think I've ever run into a pattern where the size of the SuperDuos made such a noticeable difference in the outcome. The problem with this bracelet is that the fatter 2.5x5mm SuperDuos cause the hole in the center of the motif to come out too small to insert a cabochon. You MUST use SuperDuos that are 2x5mm. That silly half millimeter makes a huge difference. You can pretty much tell right away when you make the first ring of SuperDuos. The fatter ones don't want to sit neatly next to each other because their fat "bellies" are bumping into each other. I've used them to make my "SuperDuo Flower Chain" bracelets without any issues but there are only ten SuperDuos in those motifs instead of fourteen and there are no beads in the holes in the centers. Unfortunately, not all bead shops and sites list the size of their SuperDuos so you may have to just try what you have and see it they will work or not. One clue that you can look for is to see if the color code number on the label has the prefix "DUO" before the number. If it does, those beads are most likely the fatter 2.5x5mm SuperDuos. If you shop at Red Panda, Betsy has the two sizes listed in separate sections. I'm pretty sure that all of the SuperDuos from Aura Crystals are the thinner 2x5mm size or at least that's what it says on their site and it's also what is marked on all of the bags that I have in my stash that were bought from them.

I needed seven of these motifs to fit my 6-inch wrist and I used about 3 yards of Nymo D thread. It's a little loose on my wrist but it wouldn't have been long enough with only six motifs. The clasp loops that I made were my own idea. The tutorial doesn't offer any tips for attaching a clasp and they don't show any photos of the ends of the bracelet.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Bracelet of the Day: SuperDuo Flower Chain - Metallic Leather

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Pewter" (4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Pewter" (4222)
  • 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons "Matte Metallic Leather"
  • SuperDuo beads "Crystal Grey Rainbow"

While looking through my pattern stash for ideas to make with the new 7mm cabochons, I got the idea to try replacing the connector motif in this bracelet with one of the cabs. I think it came out really cute. I think that these cabs are just the right size for this design. The original 6mm cabochons would be a little too small and the Candy beads are too big.

I've got plans to make a few more of these in other colorways. The SuperDuos and cabochons in today's bracelet are actually the same color even though they go by different names. They are a mixture of various shades of bronze and pewter.

You can download my free "SuperDuo Flower Chain" bracelet pattern from THIS post. Red Panda has the CzechMates cabochons in every color HERE.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bracelet of the Day: Canterbury - Suede Pink

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons "Metallic Suede Pink"
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Lilac Gold Luster"

This time I made the "Canterbury Bracelet" with the new CzechMates 7mm 2-hole cabochons. They do work pretty well with this pattern but I think I like the bracelet better with 8mm Candy beads. Below you can see the Candy bead version that I blogged about HERE for comparison. Although this bracelet is pretty, the over all feel of it isn't quite as nice as most of the others that I've made with this pattern. It has a slightly loose consistency for some reason. I did reinforce the edge two or three times, which helped, but it's still not as stable as those that I've made before.

CzechMates 7mm Cabochons

8mm Candy Beads

You can buy Nancy Peterson's "Canterbury Bracelet" pattern HERE. Red Panda has CzechMates 7mm Cabochon beads HERE. I found these fire polished beads at The Bead Obsession HERE. I'm mentioning that because they're a color that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Here's a sample of another colorway that I tried with the 7mm cabs but decided not to make:

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons "Matte Metallic Flax"
  • 4mm Czech pearls "Old Lace"


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bracelet of the Day: Dragonfly - Turquoise Copper Picasso

  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Metallic Bronze Antique Gold" (225)  
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Metallic Bronze Antique Gold" (225)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Metallic Bronze Antique Gold" (225)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Hybrid Moon Dust" (Y369)
  • 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons "Turquoise Copper Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Green Senegal Matte"

I tried something different this time with the Dragonfly pattern. Instead of using CzechMates tile beads, I used the new 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons. As you can see, they do work with this pattern. Because of the shape of the cabs, they end up closer together than the tiles so you'll need one or two more cabs to get the same length as with tiles. I used my single needle method to make it and only made one little tweak. The change that I made was to the netting that goes across the top. The SuperDuos in this version stick up more than they do on the original version. Because of that, the 11/0 beads sat at an odd angle next to the SuperDuos which left the holes in the SuperDuos too visible. I switched to using all 15/0 beads and I think that looks much better. I haven't tried using the cabochons with Miyuki seed beads to make this pattern so I don't know how well they would work.

The CzechMates cabochons must be heavier than the tiles because this bracelet feels quite heavy and more like a bangle than the other Dragonfly bracelets I've made. I weighed one of my older Dragonfly bracelets and it weighs 13.75 grams. This one weighs a whopping 17.5 grams. I don't know if using the cabochons had anything to do with it but I had to use a lot more thread to make this bracelet than usual. I started with 3 1/2 yards and just barely got the base finished. I added another 3 1/2 to 4 yards to complete the bracelet and came close to using all of that as well.

The pattern is from In Memory of Eridhan and you can buy it HERE on Etsy. Read about my 1-needle method HERE.
Red Panda has the CzechMates 7mm Cabochon beads HERE.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Tara Earrings - Milky Amethyst & Bronze

  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Montana Gold Luster" (204)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Montana Gold Luster" (204)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Montana Gold Luster" (204)
  • 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons "Bronze"
  • 2-hole Crescent beads "Milky Amethyst Luster Iris"

Here is another pair of "Tara" earrings made with the new 7mm CzechMates cabochons. Once again, I used Toho seed beads and you can see that they worked perfectly with these larger cabs. These bronze cabochons are an usual color that doesn't match any of the Toho or Miyuki metallic bronze seed bead colors. It's actually more gold than bronze and they go quite well with these Montana Gold Luster beads.

You can buy Ellad2's "Tara Earrings" pattern HERE. Red Panda has all of the new 7mm CzechMates Cabochons HERE.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tara Earrings - Oxidized Bronze

  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons "Oxidized Bronze"
  • 2-hole Crescent beads "Oxidized Bronze Clay"

I've been trying out the new CzechMates 7mm 2-hole cabochons lately and I've been testing them with some patterns that I know work well with the 6mm 2-hole cabs. I've blogged quite a few times about the earrings that I've made with the 6mm cabochons. You can read some of my posts HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. I noted how the pattern works best with Miyuki seed beads but it turns out that Toho seed beads work better with these larger cabs. I didn't have to make any adjustments to the pattern when I made these earrings. For testing purposes, I also tried making one with Miyuki seed beads and they don't work at all with these larger 7mm cabochons.

You can buy Ellad2's "Tara Earrings" pattern HERE. Red Panda has all of the colors in the 7mm CzechMates Cabochons HERE.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Leola Bracelet - Gold & Aqua

  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 7mm CzechMates 2-hole cabochons "Sueded Gold Turquoise"
  • Arcos® par Puca® beads "Bronze Gold Matte"

I made this colorway using Toho seed beads again to verify that they do work well with this pattern. As you can see they work perfectly. Read yesterday's post HERE about this bracelet design. I don't currently have a pattern available for "Leola" but I might make one sometime.

Red Panda has the CzechMates 7mm Cabochon beads HERE.

My blog has a new advertiser - Baubles & Beads. You'll find the ad above over on the right hand side of my blog. Baubles & Beads has lots of Czech beads and a good selection of Miyuki Delica beads. You'll also find a wide array of useful beading tools and supplies, including Tulip needles. They even have the large 350 yard spools of Nymo D and B thread which aren't easy to find. I always buy the large ones because I use a lot of thread making my beadwork projects and samples. Baubles & Beads is having a Valentine's sale until February 20th. You'll find the coupon codes HERE on their home page.