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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Spiraling Pearls, Crystals and Seed Beads

I currently subscribe to Bead & Button  magazine and while I normally rip out a few patterns from each issue that I want to make, I usually find that there is one pattern that I am eager to try over the other ones. From the most current issue that pattern was Sea Strand by Sue Neel. The pictures made it look really intricate and complicated but in actuality it’s quite simple to follow.

From the title of my post you can guess what components I used: 4mm & 12mm glass pearls, 6mm crystal rondelles and Size 11 seed beads.

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To start the necklace I strung alternating rondelles and 12mm pearls on a yard of 6lb fireline – beginning and ending with a rondelle – for my desired length. I then centered the beads on the thread so the two tails would be the same length. I sewed each tail through its corresponding rondelle once so they could essentially be stop beads as I continued to work on the piece.

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Next up, using about a yard and a half of thread I sewed twelve seed beads around alternating sides of the pearls by sewing through the rondelles. Once again I sewed the tails of the thread – which should be the same length as the original thread – through their respective rondelle.

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And for the final strand I used another yard and a half of thread to sew three 4mm pearls and additional seed beads onto the piece. As with before, the tails of this thread should be the same length as the original thread and sewn through their respective rondelle. To end the necklace I used one thread from each end to connect the clasp – I used the original thread – and I ended the other two threads by weaving them through the path of the clasp and ending them in the necklace.

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While a bracelet wasn’t part of the pattern I saw in the article, I decided to make one after completing the necklace. I followed the exact same pattern and technique as the necklace just for a shorter length.

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And finally I made the earrings that were included in the pattern to complete the set.

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A Blanket, a Runner and a Scarf

I recently completed a few crocheting/knitting projects – one was sitting on my needles a little longer than I had hoped, one came together rather quickly and another was semi-done but just waiting to be sewn together.

Up first a baby blanket that was a cinch to make. This is actually the third baby blanket I’ve completed this year – I previously made a Violet V-Stitch Baby Blanket and a Baby Blue Basketweave Blanket. Every time I make one I try to find a completely different pattern to follow and for this one I opted to use the Spring Ripple Baby Throw pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn website. At first I wasn’t seeing the ripple pattern come through but midway through it became clearer. I’m really happy with how this blanket came out and I loved the yarn I used – Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly in Doodle Dots. It wasn’t too heavy or too light which is perfect since the baby it’s meant for is due in late spring.

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And next a crochet project that I actually started late last year… the Crochet Shapes Table Runner, once again a pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn website. I liked this pattern even before I knew how to crochet because of the different motifs it consisted of. I had crocheted all the motifs but needed to stitch them together, unfortunately I got sidetracked with other projects before doing so. I ended up putting the motifs away but it was always in the back of my mind that I needed to finish it and I recently found the time to do so.

The table runner consists of six motifs: Octagon Star, Granny Stitch Hexagon, Circle in the Square, Octagon, Six Petal Flower & Flower Center Circular.

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And when all of these pieces are stitched together you have a unique and customized table runner.

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Finally, a scarf that I began when a fellow blogger, For The Knit Of It, ran a knit-a-long back in March. The pattern chosen was the Bosc Pattern from Robin Ulrich. And yes, Bosc as in pears. If you look closely at the scarf you can actually see the curves of pears in the pattern. I loved the pattern and was excited to work on it, but, getting it started was such a task. Just getting to this point – the first 10 rows of the pattern – took me about 10 tries.

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The reason… the pattern consisted of numerous yarn overs and I kept missing them and would ultimately have to start over. (Knitting is not as forgiving as crocheting.) To combat that I actually typed of the pattern and then marked where the yarn overs would be so I wouldn’t keep missing them. Once I did that working on the pattern was a piece of cake. Unfortunately for myself it wasn’t the type of pattern that I could mindlessly work on while watching television so it took me a lot longer to complete it than I had hoped. I am happy though that I didn’t give up on it and am looking forward to wearing it next winter.

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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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Crystals & Wire Pendant

At a shopping event I went to last month I saw a pendant that was made with crystals and wire that instantly caught my eye. While I did like it I thought it was a little too pricey and knew it was something that I could make myself since it was a free-form design that didn’t follow a specific pattern.

I used 22 gauge gold-tone wire (anything thinner would probably not hold up to all of the wrapping and anything thicker may be too difficult to wrap with) and random Swarovski crystals that I had left over from other projects to create my pendant.

Using about a yard length of wire I just haphazardly started wrapping the wire around itself adding crystals wherever I thought necessary. Afterwards I used round-nose pliers to curve any loose portions of the wire to ensure that the pendant would stay together. After about 25 minutes of work I ended up with a unique piece of jewelry.

I’m sure I’ll make a few more of these but I’m thinking I’ll use stones and seed beads next time to create more of a statement piece.

Seed & Cone Earrings

I came across an earring pattern – known as the Taos Earrings – while searching through the different projects available on the Artbeads website. They looked simple to make and offered the option of being able to combine different colors which meant they would be extremely versatile to wear.

First things first I picked out the four colors I wanted to use. Being that I only had silver bead cones in my beading supplies I was limited to colors that would look good with silver. Since its summer time I opted for bright colors.

Next, I strung the beads on my thread. Since I wanted the earrings to have a little dimension to them I opted to string a different amount of seed beads on each of the threads. Afterwards I looped the thread through a crimp bead and crimped it.

  

I then used an eye pin to loop through the thread, put the bead cone on and then using the straight wire portion of the eye pin created a loop and wrapped it around the bead cone to ensure it would stay in place. I used a fish hook earring finding to hang my creation and voila it was done. In total both earrings took me less than 30 minutes to make.

While I liked how they came out, I wasn’t too keen on the colors once they were done. So, I decided to make another pair using colors that weren’t as bold.

  

Craft Fair

A few weeks ago I participated in my first craft fair. While I didn’t sell as many pieces as I would have liked, it was a fun time nevertheless. I spent the weekend with good friends and it was learning experience for future shows I may participate in.

A full view of my entire collection.

A nice assortment of earrings and bracelets.

A full range of necklaces.

A close-up view of my Swarovski crystal pieces.

In preparation for the fair I was feverishly working to get earrings, necklaces and bracelets done. Below are a few pieces that were among my favorites.

Crystal and Seed Bead Wave Bracelet – Made with fuchsia crystals and yellow-tones seed beads.

Flat Even-Count Peyote Bracelet – Made with transparent ivory, turquoise and topaz 1.5mm cube beads stitched in a haphazard pattern. I used an actual button for the clasp.

Pink & Gold Necklace.

Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Crystal accents – I actually saw a similar necklace in a recent issue of Stringing magazine but it was strung from silk cord. I initially did use silk cord but didn’t like the way the necklace fell so I opted to use gold chain instead.

Glass Pearl Beaded Ball – This was an experiment gone right. I normally make beaded balls using crystals but saw it one day made with glass pearls so I decided to give it a try and was very happy with the outcome. Up close the ball almost looks like it’s comprised of small flowers.