Friday, January 30, 2015

Free Pattern - Sophia Silky Bracelet


SOPHIA SILKY BRACELET
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Silky beads "Alabaster Senegal"
  • SuperDuo beads "Halo Regal"
  • 3mm druks "Opaque Gold & Smoky Topaz Luster"

There are very few patterns available yet for the new Silky beads that are popping up in bead shops lately. So, I've been experimenting with adapting other kinds of patterns to see if they'll work with Silkies. While trying out some ideas recently, I came up with my own design and you can download the free pattern at the end of this post. I hope you like this bracelet as well as I do.

Although I used 3mm druks and pearls in two of my example bracelets, you can replace them with 8/0 seed beads if you like. You can see how that looks in my third bracelet below. There are instructions for this variation in the tutorial.

I bought the Silky beads from Aria Design Studio and I found the druks on Artbeads.com HERE.



  • 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)
  • Silky beads "Alabaster Blue Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Pearl Luster"
  • 3mm pearls "Beige - #10" (Beads One)



  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Silky beads "Alabaster Lazure Blue"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Grey Travertin" (rare and unusual color) *

* I found this color at Beadoholique, which is a local bead shop. I searched online and only found it in one wholesale shop and one other shop where it was listed as out of stock.

Click HERE to download the free pattern.

If you like this pattern, please consider making a voluntary donation through PayPal using the DONATE button on the right.


NOTE: I don't mind if you sell the projects that you make with our patterns, but please mention that you got the pattern from Linda's Crafty Inspirations. Please contact me for information about teaching this or any of our patterns in a class.

UPDATE: I found another Etsy shop that has some pretty and unusual Silky bead colors HERE.





Thursday, January 29, 2015

Black thread vs white thread


The idea for this post came from some beads that I've been working with the past couple of days. They're Chinese rondelles in a beautiful pale peach color that I got from Beadoholique, which is the local bead shop. The 6mm rondelles have a beautiful opal finish and the 3mm beads have an AB finish. I thought they'd make a pretty bracelet and earrings set. 

My main concern was that my black thread would show through the translucent beads too much. Well, it does show but I'm not sure if I mind it so much, at least compared to what happened when I made a sample of the bracelet pattern with Crystal FireLine last night. While the white thread allows the color of the rondelles to show up better, the thread shows horribly where the rondelles are connected to the seed beads. Of course it's a lot more obvious in these photos because they're so large and zoomed in. But, that also means that the shadows from the black thread really aren't quite as obvious in reality as in the photos (click the photo below to see it at full size).
 

One thing that I like about using black thread for most of my beadwork is that it gives the metallic seed beads an "antique" look because they have a dark outline around them. When I used white thread to make the earrings below, the seed beads look very pale and lack definition. Mind you, I think these earrings are incredibly pretty. You'd have to see them in real life to appreciate how tiny and delicate they are. I do like how the earrings look with white thread. White works in this case because the beads are very tiny (15/0 seed beads) and the stitching is very close together. So, there are no big gaps where the thread shows like there are in the bracelet.

The above photo is rather dark. There really isn't that much contrast between the beads. This photo is more how they really look:

Here is a comparison of an earring with white thread (on the left) next to one made with black thread (on the right):
The peach colored beads turned gray from the black thread going through them. They still look very pretty, just not the same. What I can't decide is if I prefer the delicate pale look of the white thread version or the more vintage look of the black thread version of the earrings.

How do you decide what color thread to use in your beading projects? Let me know what you think by posting a comment.


The bracelet pattern is my adaptation of Ellad2's "Lace Flowers Bracelet" pattern which you can buy HERE. I made the earrings from Nunzia's "Easy Earrings" YouTube tutorial which you can watch HERE. I made them with 15/0 seed beads and 3mm rondelles which is why they're so tiny. I also added an extra element at the top this time.





 

Marquesa Earrings

I made both of these pairs of earrings for Christmas presents last year. The "Marquesa Earrings" pattern is by Angie Martin from NannyPinksPassion on Etsy. You can buy the pattern HERE. I've blogged about this pattern before, HERE and HERE.


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (8-457D)
  • 14mm rivolis "Amethyst"
  • SuperDuo beads "Pastel Bordeaux"
  • 4mm druks "Bronze"


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (8-457D)
  • 14mm rivolis "Golden Shadow"
  • SuperDuo beads "Blue Turquoise Bronze Picasso"
  • 4mm druks "Bronze"


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bracelet of the Day: Chandra Bracelet


Please excuse the poor quality of the photos in today's post. I had to take them in poor light in a rush because I needed to mail this bracelet to Teejay. I found this free pattern on Pinterest recently and it's surprising that I'd never seen it before since the designer posted it on her Les perles de VinJulEve blog way back in 2013. What caught my eye was that it calls for Rulla beads and there are very few patterns that I really like for Rullas. I have several colors of them in my bead stash but haven't used them much. The pattern is in French but it's easy to follow the diagrams.
Photo from the Les perles de VinJulEve blog
I love the colors that she used in her bracelet but I had to come up with some color combinations using beads that I have on hand. Because I used Chinese bicones, instead of Swarovski, I had to make some adjustments to the pattern to make everything fit nicely. When I used 3mm and 4mm bicones as directed by the pattern, my sample came out warped and wonky because the bicones were too large as you can see in the top sample below.

I ended up keeping the 4mm bicones on the interior of the bracelet but replaced the 3mm bicones on the edges with seed beads and changed the 4mm bicones on the outer edge to 3mm bicones. They fit much better. I also decided to eliminate the three seed beads at the top and bottom of the SuperDuo "diamonds". They weren't sitting neatly and I decided that I liked the bracelet better without them. Since the outer holes of the SuperDuo beads aren't left empty without them, those extra beads aren't really necessary.

In place of the 3mm bicones that she used on either side of the Rulla beads, I used a combination of a 15/0 seed bead and an 11/0 seed bead. I placed the 11/0 beads on the side nearest to the SuperDuos and the 15/0 beads near the 4mm bicones and alternated them as necessary.

I don't know why but she starts the tutorial by having you string the base beads for the whole length of the bracelet without any means of securing them on the end. In the second diagram she does show to add a clasp loop, which would serve that purpose. So, I made my loop first and then started adding the base beads from there. As I typically do, I changed the way that the loop is made. I used three 11/0 seed beads on either side of an 8/0 seed bead so that I could attach a jump ring for my clasp.

You can download the free "Chandra Bracelet" PDF file HERE.


  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • Rulla beads "Aquamarine Dark Travertin"
  • SuperDuo beads "Aquamarine Dark Travertin"
  • 3mm bicones "Light Topaz AB" (from China)
  • 4mm bicones "Light Colorado AB - #C26AB" (Beads One)


  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Rulla beads "Chalk Green Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Chalk Green Luster" (the lighter color on the right)
  • SuperDuo beads "Stone Green Luster" (the darker color on the left)
  • 3mm bicones "Green AB" (from China)
  • 4mm bicones "#C51" (Beads One)

I prefer the darker green SuperDuos in this sample. I think that the lighter ones stand out too much.



  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Rulla beads "Opaque Gold Smoky Topaz Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Gold Smoky Topaz Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Crystal Gold Luster"
  • 3mm bicones "Silk AB" (from China)
  • 4mm bicones "Champagne Silver AB" (from China)

I love the overall color of the above sample but I don't think there's enough contrast between the color of the bicones and the Rullas that are next to each other.



  • 15/0 seed beads "Copper" (457A)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • Rulla beads "Chocolate Bronze"
  • SuperDuo beads "Jet Copper"
  • 3mm bicones "Dark Rose" (Chinavoski)
  • 4mm bicones "Rose Topaz AB" (Chinavoski)

The above sample is my favorite and I'll make a bracelet for myself in this color.


 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Playing with my beads... BeadNurse Band Samples

Just a quick post to show you a few color samples that I made from BeadNurse's bracelet design that I saw in her Etsy shop HERE. If you recall, I used this basic design in my experiments with Silky beads in THIS post. As far as I know, she doesn't have a pattern available for sale. She only sells ready-made jewelry.

When I made the samples posted here, I tried different numbers of SuperDuos between the CzechMates and oddly enough I like some of the colors best with two SuperDuos and some better with three or four. I think it has to do with how light or dark the bead colors are. I like the lighter colored CzechMates with just two SuperDuos between them and more SuperDuos with the darker colors. I think it would be very nice to wear two or three of these very thin bracelets together.


SAMPLE #1:
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • CzechMates "Milky Alexandrite Copper Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Violet Dark Travertin"
SAMPLE #2:
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • CzechMates "Ashen Grey Copper Picasso"
  • SuperDuo beads "White Senegal Brown Purple"
SAMPLE #3:
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bronze" (457)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bronze" (457)
  • CzechMates "Opaque Smoky Topaz Gold Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Gold Matte"
SAMPLE #4:
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • CzechMates "Transparent Topaz Pink Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Polychrome Copper Rose"
SAMPLE #5:
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • CzechMates "Crystal Moon Dust"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Violet White Luster"


Monday, January 26, 2015

Bracelet of the Day: Lattice Gates Bracelet Adaptation

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Silky beads "Alabaster Lazure Blue"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Green Senegal Matte"

I showed you a sample that I'd made of this design when I blogged about trying a few different ideas with Silky beads HERE. The original pattern on Etsy is made with CzechMates beads but I figured out a way to use Silky beads instead. As you can see, I only made one row of the pattern for a much narrower bracelet. You can buy Norma Jean Dell's original tutorial HERE. Not having seen her tutorial, I can't say what I did differently to make my bracelet. I'm pretty sure though that the thread path will be at least a little different due to the way you have to work with Silkies. Perhaps Norma Jean will read this post and come up with a variation of her pattern using Silky beads that you can buy in her shop.

I enjoyed making this bracelet and it wasn't as difficult to remember how I'd done it as I thought it would be when I last posted about it.




I've also got exciting news. On Saturday I blogged about some earrings that I saw on ArtFire by designer Beth Clark. Well, Beth read my post and decided to make tutorial that you can buy HERE. She's calling them "Beth Duo Earrings". You can also buy another earring pattern that I mentioned and will blog about soon. Those are called "Duo Fan Earrings". Click HERE to buy that pattern.

By the way, Beth also has a beading blog HERE. If you're a beginning beader, or frequently frustrated while beading, read her wonderful and inspiring article "Advice for Novice Beaders" HERE.

"BETH DUO EARRINGS" BY BETH CLARK
 

"DUO FAN EARRINGS" BY BETH CLARK


Now that I've got Beth's pattern, I made another sample earring using her method:

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Jet Red Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Polychrome Copper Rose"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mandala Earrings

I adapted these earrings from a free Czech tutorial that you can find HERE on the The Redheaded Cat - Beads blog. There is a pendant pattern on that page and the earring pattern is below that near the bottom of the page. Here is a photo of the earrings from the blog:
The Redheaded Cat's Original Earrings
It has been quite some time since I made these earrings but I remember that I changed a few things. I'd love to tell you what I did differently but I don't remember after all this time. It should be relatively easy to figure it out from the photo.

I've only made one completed pair of these earrings but I have tried the same beads two different ways as you can see below:


  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Chalk Green Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Jet"
  • Drop beads "Black - #C04 " (Beads One)

I liked them both very much but I found that the black ones didn't show up well when I tried them on. All I could see against my dark hair were the green beads in the middle.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Playing with my beads...Beth SuperDuo Earrings & Variation

I'm calling these "Beth SuperDuo Earrings" after the name of the woman who created the original design. I saw her earrings on Pinterest a few days ago and figured out how to make them. The photo below that I saw on Pinterest linked to Beth Clark's ArtFire shop HERE, but she no longer has those earrings for sale. I did find them in another color in her gallery, HERE. While I was there, I saw her "Duo Fan Earrings" which I've also made and will blog about another day.

UPDATE: Beth's earring pattern is now free. Download it from her blog HERE.

Beth's original earrings
Although I think a solid color looks pretty, I decided to try a more variegated look with mine. I used one color for the top part of the earring and a different, but complimentary color, for the bottom part. I made a change at the top of my earrings so that I could add some seed beads to cover the empty holes in the SuperDuos. I like that with my method the earrings lay flat. When I made them using Beth's method, they bulged in the center and there were those pesky empty holes. Below are two sample earrings that I made using my method:


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Metallic Suede Pink"
  • SuperDuo beads "Polychrome Orchid Aqua"


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Metallic Suede Teal"
  • SuperDuo beads "Green Iris Matte"

After making a few samples, I decided to play a little more with the design because the top had a tendency to come out a little crooked. I'm also not wild about how the bottom of the earring is rather wide.
Prototypes

So, my next experiment was to omit the seed beads between the SuperDuos on the inner "flower" and see if that allowed me to do something a little different with the top part of the earring. I really liked how this new sample turned out. It still looks similar to Beth's original earrings but has a longer, narrower shape and no empty SuperDuo holes showing. It also lays nice and flat. I've made this version in quite a few color combinations. Below are a few examples of my version, which I call "Bethany Earrings". After making a few earrings, I decided that they'd look better with the center "flower" in one color and the rest of the SuperDuos in a different color.


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bronze" (457)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Bronze" (457)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Green Luster Iris"
  • SuperDuo beads "Polychrome Aqua Teal"


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • SuperDuo beads "Polychrome Copper Rose""
  • SuperDuo beads "Pearl Luster"


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Metallic Suede Pink"
  • SuperDuo beads "Polychrome Orchid Aqua"


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Ultra Green Luster"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Olive Bronze Picasso"



SAMPLE 1 (left)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Metallic Suede Teal"
  • SuperDuo beads "Green Iris Matte"
 SAMPLE 2 (center)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • SuperDuo beads "Gold Copper Iris Matte"
SAMPLE 3 (right)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Metallic Suede Pink"
  • SuperDuo beads "Polychrome Orchid Aqua"

Just for fun, I made a sample using almost the same color that Beth used in her white earrings and also made a sample using my method for comparison.

Beth's version on the left and my version on the right

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • SuperDuo beads "Pastel Cream"