Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review: Purchase at Beads East

At the beginning of this month the Beads East store offered a 50% discount on all products in stock. They were moving their store to another place, so they had to clear out their inventory. When I learned of the promotion was late and most of products was sold out. But I still could buy some beads and since it was the first time I shop at this store, I decided to make a quick review for you.

In the image bellow you can see how my order was packed. Like many other online stores, the products are packed in zip-lock bags and protected with bubble wrap. In each package there is a short description of the item, but you can see a more detailed description of it in the invoice.

The store sells Japanese seed beads from Toho, Miyuki, and Matsuno, and sells Czech seed beads from Preciosa. The seed beads size 15/0 were sold in packs of 20 grams, while the seed beads size 11/0, 8/0 and 6/0 were sold in packs of 50 grams.

I got some 15/0 in bronze colors from Toho - metallic bronze (code: #221) and metallic yellow bronze (code: #223) - and seed beads in shades of blue, green and red from Miyuki - left to right: silver lined capri blue (#32), opaque dark crimson (408B), opaque spruce green (#411B), lustered opaque teal (#443), and opaque bright light blue (413B).

In the picture bellow, the first two packages in the left are Miyuki seed beads size 11/0 in the colors matte metallic khaki iris (#2035) and metallic dark bronze (#457). The next two packages in the upper right are Preciosa seed beads size 11/0, in the colors silk light bronze (#01720) and silk silver (#01700). I really liked the silver color from Preciosa. It doesn't have the slight tint of yellow that we can see in seed beads in silver permanent finish from Toho or Duracoat silver from Miyuki.

The three packages in the lower left are seed beads size 8/0. The first one is Preciosa and the color is matte silk light gold ( #01710). The second one is Miyuki matte metallic dark bronze (2006) and the third is Toho metallic yellow bronze (#223). And the last two packages are Preciosa bugle beads size 2, and the colors are silk metallic silver (#01700) and metallic bronze (#59142).

And in the last picture bellow you can see a package of Miyuki seed beads size 6/0 metallic bronze (#457), Swarovski crystal rivoli 12mm (dark topaz) and 14mm (light peach), and beading buttons of 15mm x 14mm in the colors antique cooper plated, antique gold plated, antique steel plated and antique silver plated. I intend to use those buttons as clasp in some bracelets.

And that's all I bought. Although I got only a few items (considering such a big promotion), I'm very pleased with my purchase. And I liked the store - they sell seed beads of the four major manufacturers (Toho, Miyuki, Matsuno, and Preciosa) and have a wide range of colors. The only downside in my opinion is their shipping cost, that I think it's a bit high (and it increases with the value in the cart). But it may be offset by the products price.

The Beads East has a channel on Youtube where they teach some beading techniques - check it HERE.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pattern Review: Losange Bracelet and Rose Petal Earrings

Here is what I did yestarday: some beadwork designed by Sidonia. If you don't know her, check her Youtube channel HERE.

I'm a big fan of Sidonia's designs. She creates beautiful and delicate beading jewelry using seed beads and Swarovski crystals. I like the way she combine colors, making her designs have a sophisticated look.

The first project I made is the Losange bracelet and earrings (watch the bracelet tutorial HERE and the earring tutorial HERE). It's easy to make and I totally recommend it for beginners. Because the design is lace, I decided to use seed beads in gunmetal color, to create a contrast with my skin and show the details better.

The materials I used to make them:

- Toho seed beads 8/0, metallic hematite (#81); Store
- Toho seed beads 11/0, metallic hematite (#81); Store
- Hemalyke round beads 4mm; Store
- Swarovski bicone, 4mm, crystal silver night; Store
- Wildfire thread, 0.15mm (.006"), black; Store

The second project, also from Sidonia, is the Rose Petal earrings (watch HERE). I bought some Czech rose petal beads quite some time ago and I didn't have any idea to use them. So when I saw this tutorial, I couldn't be happier! Finally I put those beads in good use.

The earrings aren't difficult to make. But if you don't know right angle weave stitch, you may get confused, especially when Sidonia explains how to place the petals so they all face to the same side.

Here's my version of the rose petal earrings:

The materials I used to make it:

- Toho seed beads 11/0, color lined silver/crystal (#261); Store
- Toho seed beads 15/0, color lined silver/crystal (#261);
- Rose petals 8x7mm, full labrador; Store
- Thunder Polish bicones, 3mm, aqua AB;
- One G thread, white; Store

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