Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Raising Curtains Necklace

This is my version of the necklace designed by Maria Rypan that was published in the Beadwork Magazine June/July 2014.

The materials I used:
- Japanese seed beads 8/0, white lined transparent aqua;
- Beaders Paradize, Czech seed beads 11/0, miami surf mix;
- C-lon thread, size D, color: gray;
- Lobster clasp, 16mm, silver plated;
- Jumpring 6mm, silver plated;
- Wire guardian, silver plated;

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Oxana Bracelet

Here's my version of the Oxana Bracelet designed by Ewa:

I love this pattern because it's quick to make and I could play with beads of different colors. To see the scheme to make it, click HERE.

Although this pattern is quite simple, I don't recommend it to beginners. It's necessary you have some practice by reading diagrams and know right angle weave stitch.

I had a problem at the time of joining the ends of the bracelet. I thought that I had aligned the bracelet correctly, but when I was almost finishing the embellishment I discovered that I couldn't join the end of the embellishment with the beginning because they were misaligned. The result: I had to undo the entire bracelet.

It's really hard to see if you aligned the bracelet correctly without the embellishment on it. So to solve this problem I decided to make one part of the embellishment at the same time I did the base:

The embellishment correspond to the first one in the image 5 (in the original scheme). As you can see in the image above, the embellishment was made in three columns of the rope. We don’t do anything at the other two columns because they'll be the internal part of the bracelet - the part that will be in touch with the skin.

In the pictures bellow you can see how to align the bracelet correctly before joining the ends:

As you can see, the embellishment makes easier aligning the ends. After that you can continue doing the other part of the embellishment.

The materials I used to make the bracelet:
- superduo beads, opaque champagne luster (#P14413); store
- dyna-mites seed beads 8/0, opaque dark orange; store
- dyna-mites seed beads 11/0, square hole, silver-lined teal blue matte; store
- dyna-mites seed beads 11/0, inside color matte hot pink; store
- toho seed beads 15/0, transparent rainbow ruby (#1656);
- miyuki seed beads 15/0, sparkling honey beige inside color (#1522); store
- crystal bicones, 3mm, light rose;
- C-lon thread, size D, dark cream (for the base); store
- illusion cord, 15mm, clear (for the embellishment); store

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tutorial: herringbone bracelet with pyramid sutds and superduo beads

To see the materials I used in the tutorial and more information, click HERE.

Herringbone bracelet with pyramid studs and superduo beads

Hi everyone! Today I want to show you the new tutorial - a herringbone bracelet with superduo beads and pyramid studs. The pattern is very easy and simple. I hope you enjoy it.

The pyramid studs that I used have 2 holes and measure 10mm. I bought them at Michaels store. I searched online stores where you can also buy them and I found these two Etsy stores: Store 1 and Store 2.

The materials I used to make the white bracelet:
- 2-Hole Pyramid Stud Beads, 10mm, silver plated;
- Superduo beads, opaque white (#03000);
- Miyuki seed beads 15/0, transparent silver lined (#1); store
- Toho seed beads 11/0, transparent silver lined; store
- Toho seed beads 8/0, matte pewter (#566); store
- O Beads, labrador full silver (#27000); store
- Illusion cord, 0.25mm, clear; store

Materials used in the blue version:
- 2-Hole Pyramid Stud Beads, 10mm, silver plated; 
- Superduo beads, saphire (#3005); store
- Superduo beads, blue picasso opaque (#T3305); store
- Toho seed beads 15/0, silver lined gray (#29B); store
- Miyuki seed beads 11/0, smoky grey silver lined (#21); store
- Japanese seed beads 11/0, cadet blue lined transp. Light amethyst;
- Toho seed beads 8/0, metallic hematite (#81); store
- O Beads, labrador full silver (#27000); store
- Illusion cord, 0.25mm, clear; store

Materials used in the green version:
 2-Hole Pyramid Stud Beads, 10mm, color: antique brass;
- Superduo beads, color: opaque olive; store
- Superduo beads, color: opaque luster cream picasso; store
- Miyuki seed beads, size 15/0, color: transparent orange AB (code: 253); store
- Toho seed beads, size: 11/0, color: silver lined lime green AB (code: 2024); store
- Toho seed beads, size: 11/0, color: matte black diamond gold lined (code: 999F); store
-  Miyuki seed beads, size: 8/0, color: gold iris satin mix (code: 01610); store
- O-beads, color: gold iris satin mix (code: 01610); store
- Illusion cord, 0.25mm, clear; store

You can watch the video tutorial HERE or buy the tutorial in PDF format HERE.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Purchase at Artbeads

Today I'll make a review of my latest purchase at, my favorite online store.

Artbeads have a great variety of materials for making jewelry and their prices are very reasonable. I'm often checking the prices of beads in different stores and it's common I find the lower price of some beads I use at this store. They also are offering deals constantly and at each purchase you'll receive a coupon with a discount to your next order. Sometimes you can even use this coupon in products already on sale!

They ship worldwide. The only problem is - I checked on their website and I saw that they have only two options for international shipping: Priority Mail and Priority FedEx, which are more expensive than the Standard International option. But those living in USA will get free shipping for orders of  $10.00 or more.

Well, here are some pictures of my purchase before and after I opened it:

As you can see, the order comes in an envelope that is internally coated with a bubble plastic layer to protect the products inside of it. The materials are inside of zip-lock bags, wrapped in these cute purple paper. Along with the materials was my invoice, a card with a code of a 10% discount for my next order, and a free tutorial - the "Triple Crown" Bracelet.

My purchase:

When I made this purchase, I used a coupon of extra 50% of the clearance products that I received by email. So I took the opportunity to buy some different kinds of beads I had never used before.

A curious product I bought are the metalized plastic beads. I had never heard of them. They are made of plastic but look like metal beads. In other words: they're lightweight and they'll never tarnish! Hahaha I love these beads! I can't wait to use them on my next projects.

But, because I wasn't sure  if I would like them, I just bought a few samples of each:

In the picture below you'll see the little gecko clasps and some bails. A bail is used to attach a pendant to a chain, cord or ribbon, to create a necklace. I bought these bails because I had no one at home and they were very cheap with the discount. I usually create my bails with seed beads or I use thick jump rings to attach the pendants.

I also bought some Czech bell flowers. They're beautiful, but I have no idea what I'll do with them. Any sugestions?

Next picture: some Czech glass drop beads in different shapes - briolettes, leafs and spades. These beads are very beautiful, I'm in love with all of them. I will make earrings with the last one (the spades). The other ones I think I'll use in a necklace.

Next picture: Czech glass rondelles 9x6mm and Czech barrel beads. The first time I saw the rondelles I thought they were inconsistent in size. But I measured them and discovered that they all have the same size. The barrels measure 8x5mm.

Now you'll see in the next picture my favorite beads of this purchase: the Czech oval beads. The color is so beautiful! I can't stop to think that I should have bought more of them! They measure 11x16mm approximately.

The Czech rectangular beads are made of glass, but they look like metal. They're really nice. I'm thinking of creating a rustic bracelet with them. The last ones are 12mm Czech coin beads in a very nice color.

And the last items of my purchase: buttons that I'm planning to use as clasps, dagger beads, Swarovski pear pendants and Swarovski rivoli butterfly that I bought because I didn't pay attention to the description. I thought they were beads but they are actually cabochons with no holes.

That's all! I hope this post will inspire you. If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment below or send me an email. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gothic Cross Earrings

I want to share with you the result of a pendant I made yesterday. The pattern is called "Gothic Cross Earrings" and it was designed by Kathy. You can watch the tutorial of it HERE.

I planned to turn it into a pendant because the bead cones I bought are a bit heavy to a earring. But I made a mistake when choosing the One G thread to make it. The pendant got too floppy. I'll remake it with Wildfire, the same thread Kathy used in her video.

Although Kathy shows all the necessary steps to make the earrings, I don't recommend it for beginners. You may have to adjust the amount of seed beads added at the top of the cones. It will depend on the length of your bead cones. For example, in the original pattern Kathy used 17 seed beads 11/0 in the first round after adding the bead cones. I had to use only 15 and it changed the way I worked in each row after that.

The beads I used:
- Swarovski round pearl, 6mm, coral; store
- Swarovski round pearl, 4mm, coral; store
- Miyuki seed beads 11/0, dark cream opaque (#492);
- Toho seed beads 11/0, hybrid opaque luster green (#y182); store
- TierraCast black finish pewter hammertone cone; store

What do you think of the pendant's colors? I used these pictures as inspiration:

I hope this post will inspire you. Have a wonderful week! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: Rulla Beads

Recently I discovered that some rullas release a red/brown ink color through their holes. It can be a big mess because it'll paint your fingers, beads, thread, and beading mat!

It happens with some specific colors. Two that I bought and had this problem: "aquamarine travertine dark" (that I used to make one of the wrap bracelets) and "opaque picasso white".

I tried to clean them with warm water and soap, but it didn't work. The only way I found to clean them was passing a cheap thread through their both holes several times. In the picture bellow you can see how my white Nymo thread got after passing it through the rullas.

After that I passed a new thread through them to make sure the ink was gone. The second thread got a light red color after the process.

At the end I cleaned the outside of the rullas with a paper towel.

And they are finally ready to use!

I cannot say which colors have this problem and which ones haven't, so I recommend you be careful when using the rulla beads. Before you start working with them, put some rullas in a paper towel and pass a cheap thread through their holes to check.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tutorial Wrap Bracelet

To see the materials I used in the tutorial and more information, click HERE.

Wrap Bracelet

The tutorial I bring to you today is a wrap bracelet. It's very simple and you can make it in one night.

In the video I made a bracelet with only two wraps because it would be hard to handle a bracelet with more wraps in front of the camera. But the idea is that you make a bracelet with how many wraps you wish.

The materials I used are triangle beads size 8/0, rulla beads and seed beads 15/0. If you aren't familiar with triangle beads or rulla beads, I made a review of them in my last purchase HERE.

This project consumes a lot of thread. I recommend you start with a long piece of thread because the first and second steps are fast to do. I started my bracelets with 12 ft (3.6 meters) of thread.

How to know the right length of your bracelet: measure your wrist and multiply the size by the number of wraps you want. Then add 0.5" or 1.3 cm to the result. For example, if your wrist measures 7" and you want a 3-wrap bracelet, the length of the bracelet will be: 7 x 3 + 0.5 = 21.5".

The materials I used in the gray bracelet:
- Miyuki seed beads 15/0, transparent silver lined (#1); store
- Toho triangle beads 8/0, silver lined gray (#29B); store
- Czech rulla beads, 3x5mm, chalk jet luster; store
- Swarovski crystal rivoli button, 12mm, color: crystal; store
- C-lon thread, size D, gray; store
- Needles #11; store

The materials I used in the green bracelet:
- Toho seed beads 15/0, antique gold lined crystal (#262); store
- Toho triangle beads 8/0, matte metallic bronze iris (#83F); store
- Rulla beads, aquamarine travertine dark; store
- Swarovski crystal rivolli button, 12mm, color: jet nut;
- C-lon thread, size D, black; store 
- Needles #11; store


The materials I used in the purple bracelet:
- Toho round seed bead, size 15/0, color: gold inside color lined green (code: 284); store
- Toho triangle bead, size 8/0, color: metallic plum iris (code: 85); store
- Swarovski rivolli button 3015, size: 12mm, color: volcano; store
- Czech glass 2-hole rulla beads, 3x5mm, color: alabaster pastel bordeaux; store
- C-lon thread, size D, color: purple; store

Watch the video tutorial HERE or buy the tutorial in PDF format HERE.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Purchase at Fusion Beads

Today I'll make a review of my latest order at Fusion Beads.

Fusion Beads is an online store that sells materials for making  jewelry. What I most like about them is the huge variety of materials they have available. Another good thing is the store is offering deals often, especially at holidays. They also ship for several countries besides US and Canada. Check if they ship to your country HERE.

I took some pictures before opening my package to show you how the orders are sent:

In the last two pictures you can see how I open my packages! Learn from my mistake: this is the best way to open this kind of package. I already cut a bead mat and a couple of invoices because I wasn't very careful when opening a package.

The envelope is internally coated with a bubble plastic layer to protect the products inside of it. The materials come inside of a zip-lock bag. The order invoice is also included in the pack.

That's my purchase: needles and beads of different shapes!

Let's start with the needles because many people asks me which one I use. The answer is: Pony needles.

These needles aren't very sturdy. They can bend easily. But this is exactly why I like them: I prefer a needle that can bend easily than one that can break in my hands while I'm working! Moreover you can straighten the needle again with your pliers. They are also less expensive than the other brands.

The packs sold by Fusion Beads come with 25 needles. I only bought sizes 10 to 12 because I never needed needles thinner than the number 12.

Now let's see the beads!

The tree packs you see in the picture above are mixes of Japanese round seed beads size 11/0. Some stores create their own mixes with different colors of seed beads that combine together. These mixes are good for those who are learning to combine colors. I really like them, especially when they come with beads of different finishes (silver-lined, opaque, luster, matte, etc.), like the mixes sold by Fusion Beads. They're great to create a illusion of texture into a design.

The store sells mixes of seed beads size 15/0, 11/0, 8/0, and 6/0. You can also buy beads of the color that you like most in a mix. There's a list with the code of all beads included in the mix in the product description at their website. To see all the mixes they have available click HERE.

Now let's see the triangle beads size 8/0 I bought (click in the image to see it larger):

For those who never heard about triangle beads: they are beads with a triangle shape and they're available in different sizes. Each size is identified by a number just like the round seed beads: 11/0, 10/0, 8/0, 6/0, 5/0. These beads can be a bit different, depending on the brand. For example, the triangle beads from Toho have sharp edges while the Miyuki triangle beads have a bit rounded edges. I prefer the triangle beads with sharp edges because fit nicely next to each other.

I saw in some online stores that Miyuki recently launched the "sharp triangle beads" - triangle beads with edges more sharp than the regular ones. In the pictures their edges seem even sharper than the ones from Toho.

All the triangle beads I bought at Fusion Beads have sharp edges. I think they are all from Toho, but I cannot say for sure. In the picture bellow you can see some of them closer:

I also bought bugle beads 6mm to make some projects I have in mind:

The black bugle beads you see in the picture above are actually hex bugle beads. They have six sides. I like them very much, but unfortunately the 6mm hex bugles are available in only a few colors at the store.

The last item of my purchase are the rulla beads. These beads are made in Czech Republic and they have a cylindrical "barrel" shape with two holes on it. They measure 3x5mm.

I was playing around with them yesterday and I discovered that the first one - the rulla beads in white picasso color - left my thread and my fingers stained with a brown ink! It also stained my bead mat. The paint went off easily when I washed my hands. But it wasn't that easy to clean my bead mat.

The ink comes out from inside of the holes. I didn't have any problem with the rulla beads in turquoise color. What makes me think that maybe this is a common problem to the beads in picasso colors. So if you are using the rulla beads in any picasso color, I recommend you put a paper towel on your bead mat before you start working with them.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Frankfurt Bead-Lace Bracelet

That's my version of the Frankfurt Bead-Lace bracelet, designed by Sabine Lippert. The pattern is free and you can download it HERE.

Sabine Lippert is a very talented artist. The beadwork pieces she create are impressive. I recently bought her book - "Beaded Fantasies - 30 Romantic Jewelry Projects" - thanks to a recommendation from a reader here on the blog. I love the book and I have to tell you that I'm very impressed by her work. Her designs are very detailed and unusual - what I love. I'll be posting a review of the book soon.

The Frankfurt Bead-Lace bracelet was her first pattern. She recently made some changes on it to renew it. The old version of the pattern is not available at her website anymore, but you can still see photos of it if you search on Google. I like the two versions so much that I decided to make a bracelet by mixing what I liked most in the old version with what I liked most in the new one.

I also changed the ribbon at the middle of the bracelet. Instead of using it as a embellishment and as a clasp at the same time (like in the original pattern), I glued the ribbon to fix it in the bracelet and added a magnetic clasp with seed beads.

I took some pictures to show you how I added the ribbon:

After adding the ribbon, I left about 2" or 5 cm of extra ribbon at both sides of the bracelet. Then I used glue to fix the extra piece of ribbon in the back part of the bracelet, as you can see in the pictures bellow.

After drying, the glue is invisible. I also hid the end of the ribbon behind the beads. In this way you see no difference between the front and back of the bracelet.

More pictures of the bracelet finished:

The materials I used:
- Dyna-Mites seed beads 11/0, olive green matte (#4774SB); store
- Toho seed beads 15/0, metallic dark green iris (#15-89); store
- Miyuki seed beads 15/0, opaque orange (#15-406); store
- Firepolished beads, 6mm, brown iris; store
- Hand Dyed Hannah Silk Ribbons, 7/16", color: rusty bucket; store
- One G thread, brown; store
- Magnetic clasp, antique bronze plated, 6x11mm;
- Beadwork needle size #12; store

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