Tiles, Tilas & Triangles

While round seed beads are fun to work with – they are versatile and offer a uniform look to most jewelry pieces – sometimes it’s nice to try out different shapes and sizes to get pieces that are unique and more intricate looking.

One such bracelet is the Tila Token bracelet by Marcia Balonis that was featured in the June 2012 issue of Bead & Button Magazine Bead & Button Magazine. When I started working on this bracelet I went by the material list that came with the pattern; 5mm Miyuki Tila beads, Size 11 Japanese cylinder beads (Delicas) in 2 colors and Size 15 seed beads.

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Things were going well through the first few steps…

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But when I started to add the Tila beads they weren’t lying flat and although it’s not pictured here I was having a hard time keeping the Delicas close together on the sides of the bracelet. I tried restarting the bracelet a few times but in the end decided to try it with different size beads altogether.

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I opted to go with Czech Tile beads, Size 8 seed beads in 2 colors and Size 11 seed beads. Czech Tile and Miyuki Tila beads are similar in that they are square beads with two holes but they differ in that Tila beads are 5mm and Tile beads are slightly larger at 6mm and are more rounded around the edges and corners. Because of that roundness I prefer the look that Tile beads give a bracelet over Tila beads.

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I started off by working in ladder stitch to create the first two rows of the bracelet.

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I then switched to flat herringbone stitch to create the next few rows and to add the Tile beads throughout the bracelet.

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This was actually the first time I used the herringbone stitch and while it took a few minutes to get the hang of it once I did the bracelet came together rather quickly.

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To complete the other end of the bracelet I once again worked in ladder and herringbone stitch and then attached a magnetic clasp and the bracelet was done.

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Using the same Czech Tile beads again – along with Size 11 seed beads – I created a bracelet I will call Squared V’s.

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I knew that the bracelet was going to be four tile beads wide so I began by stringing the following pattern for my desired length: one seed bead, one Tile bead, eight seed beads, one Tile bead, one seed bead, one Tile bead, eight seed beads, one Tile bead, etc. Once I reached by desired length I went in the opposite direction and sewed through the Tile beads adding seed beads by one where my starting point was one seed bead and decreasing by one seed bead where my starting point was eight seed beads.

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I kept this pattern going adding the Tile beads where necessary and it wasn’t long before the bracelet was done. FYI… The greatest amount of seed beads between your Tile beads will always be the number wide of Tile beads you want to use times two. For example, if you only want your bracelet to be three Tile beads wide the greatest number of seed beads used would be six, if it was five Tile beads it would then be 10 seed beads. I then added seed beads to the ends to attach the clasp and the bracelet was done.

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Since I did have some Miyuki Tile beads sitting in my stash waiting to be used I decided to make a few more of these bracelets.

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And finally I used Triangle beads to create a pair of earrings that I came across in the April 2013 issue of Bead & Button Magazine under the pattern called Triangular Opulence by Ana Rao. To be honest I am still on the fence as to whether or not I like them. I am thinking it has something to do with the color; I opted to buy clear Triangles to make them since I figured I should stick with something neutral. I guess I should have gone with something bold instead. Along with the triangles I also used 11mm crystal drops, Size 11 seed beads, and Size 11 cylinder beads (Delicas) to make the earrings.

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Using the ladder stitch I stitched together six triangles to form one unit and then stitched four more triangles to that unit to add on a second unit. I then added triangles to each of the end units, once again via the ladder stitch.

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Once the base was done it was time to start embellishing it. I started by adding the crystal drop.

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I then stitched a Delica bead to the front of each of the triangles and a Size 11 seed bead to the two centers of the base units. I attached an earring finding to the top and as simple as that the earrings were done.

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Two Bracelets and a Ring

I decided to take a break from my knitting projects last week to work on some jewelry pieces that I have wanted to get done. In all honesty my arms and wrists needed a break from all of the shoveling I did from when I was snowed-in.

Up first was something super simple… Yarn Wrapped Bangle. I got the idea from a craft email I receive every day from Martha Stewart’s website. All I needed to complete this project was yarn (you can also use ribbon), tacky glue and a plastic bangle. It doesn’t matter the color or pattern of the bangle since you will be covering it up. The one I used had sequins on the inside and only cost $2… You can’t beat that!

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To start off I wound a few yards of yarn into small ball and glued one end to the inside of the bangle. I let the glue dry completely and then started wrapping the yarn tightly around the bangle. Every so often I stopped to make sure there weren’t any spaces between the yarn and around the midway point I added some glue to secure the yarn in place.

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It didn’t take long before I had a completely new bangle.

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After that was done I moved on to a Cabochon and Seed Bead Ring. I got the idea for this piece from the February 2013 issue of Bead & Button Magazine in an article called Ring Tones. I used two different color size 15 seed beads, an oval cabochon, an adjustable ring and prestiffened felt for my beading foundation. I was able to find the ring and felt at my local Michael’s store and I ordered an assortment of cabochons from Fire Mountain Gems (www.firemountaingems.com) for under $3 so I have plenty more to use if I want to make more rings or pendants and such. As for the size 15 seed beads, I had one of the colors and then took advantage of a sale at Beada Beada (www.beadabeada.com) and ordered an assortment of colors that I normally wouldn’t pick just to have a nice assortment for future projects.

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To start off I cut a piece of the felt to fit into the bezel of the ring. While the directions called for using two or more pieces of foundation I opted to use only one piece since the ring I was using had a very shallow well.

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Next up, I glued the cabochon to the center of the felt. After it completely dried I began to stitch the seed beads around the cabochon using the beaded backstitch. I started with a round of yellow and then added a second round of yellow on top of that round so that those seed beads would come up the sides of the cabochon. I then stitched two rounds of turquoise seed beads around the yellow.

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It wasn’t long before I was done and my embroidered piece was ready to be adhered to the ring. While I did have jewelry glue (which I used to glue the cabochon onto the felt) I opted to use Krazy Glue to adhere the entire piece to the ring so I could be sure it would stay put.

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I was really happy with how it came out and I can’t wait to wear it. And now that I know how to embroider on felt I am looking forward to making other pieces of jewelry.

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And finally the last piece I made was a bracelet that I also came across in the February 2013 issue of Bead & Button Magazine called Crystal Bridges. The bracelet is made with 12mm bugle beads, 4mm pearls, 4mm bicone crystals, 3mm fringe drops, size 11 & size 15 seed beads, 4x1mm daisy spacers and a two-strand slide clasp. While the article did have suggested colors for the bracelet I opted to go a different route and made my bracelet in shades of blue. I had Swarovski Crystal bicones in my beading stash that I wanted to use so I based my other colors off of them.

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To start I created the base of the bracelet by using the crossweave technique to add the bugles and pearls. On a comfortable length of Fireline I threaded a size #12 beading needle onto each end and then centered a bugle bead onto the thread. Then with each of the needles I picked up a pearl and with one of the needles a bugle bead and then crossed the other needle through it. In total I added 32 bugles for the bracelet to be approximately 7 1/2 inches. Just to note, if the size needs to be adjusted the number of bugles beads on the base must be an even number for the top embellishment to work.

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Following that I added the top embellishment. I once again used the crossweave technique to add the pearls, size 15 seeds beads, bicones   and daisy spacers.

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Once that was done it was time to add the clasp. This was a little backwards to me since I am accustomed to adding a clasp to piece of jewelry only once it’s completely done. Once again I used the crossweave technique to add size 15 seed beads and a bicone crystal to attach the clasp to the bracelet. In all honesty the bracelet could be worn like this and you could forgo the side embellishment, but, if you want more of a unique piece I think it’s necessary to keep going – which is what I did.

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To add the side embellishment – which consists of the size 11 & 15 seed beads and the fringe beads – I worked in a simple bead weaving technique.   To start I added one size 11 seeds between each of the pearls.

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I then added five size 15 seed beads by stitching my thread through the size 11 seed beads I had just added, which basically left the size 15   seed beads arching around the pearls. I was concerned at this point because the size 15 seed beads weren’t sitting flat. I kept playing with the thread   by pulling it snug and then loosening it in an attempt to have them fall flat, but, it didn’t work. Luckily the final step rectified the problem.

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Finally, I added the fringe drop beads by sewing through the three middle size 15 seed beads from the five I added in the previous step.   Basically the fringe drops sat next to the size 11 seed beads. I ended my thread and my bracelet was ready to wear. Unfortunately I’ll   have to wait a while to wear it since the colors are more for Spring/Summer.

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