Monday, September 29, 2014

Nunzia's "Earrings Number One" - My Variations

As I mentioned the other day, I wanted to find a way to make the bottom part of these earrings a little less cluttered with unruly beads. In the process of trying out an idea, I realized that I liked the look of the earrings best before most of the netting beads were added to the bottom. Just one little tweak made my version work very well. I've since come up with a couple of extra embellishments but my original tweak is my favorite version. Here is a photo that I took of Nunzia's original version (on the left) next to my favorite variation (center) and one of my embellished versions (on the right):

The center one has a cleaner, simpler look and has more of the Art Nouveau style that I love.

To keep this post from being horribly long, I will post several samples and two complete pairs of the earrings today. Then, in a later post, I will tell you about the changes that I made to Nunzia's pattern so you can try my versions. Before I forget, HERE is the link to Nunzia's free YouTube video tutorial.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver-Nickel" (464A)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver-Nickel" (464A)
  • SuperDuo beads "Amethyst Matte"
I don't like this sample at all but I wanted to see how the earrings would look with translucent SuperDuo beads instead of opaque ones. They don't work well at all because they're too dark. They look black but they're actually amethyst. Also, the silver seed beads are fatter than most of the other metallic seed beads I have so they make the shape of the earring a little too wide.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Stone Green Luster"
I love this one. This is one of my embellished variations and it's my favorite of those two versions.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • SuperDuo beads "Champagne Luster"
I like this one too. I think that the SuperDuos look like ivory. I went with lighter bronze seed beads because of the very light color of the SuperDuos.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Violet White Luster"
This is my other embellishment variation.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • SuperDuo beads "Blue Turquoise Picasso"

I love this one. I'm not sure if you can tell in the photo but the SuperDuos puffed up a bit more in this one than in some of the others. It all depends on the shape and size of them how much they puff up or lay flat in these earrings but I like them either way.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • SuperDuo beads "Chocolate Bronze"
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Yellow Copper Picasso"
I tried something a little different with this sample. I used some SuperDuos that matched the metallic seed beads for the three in the bottom half of the earring so they'd become part of the "metal" base. Because I used so many dark beads, I made the "flower" a dark color that didn't stand out too much. They're nice but I might try this idea again with "Dark Bronze" seed beads and SuperDuos and use a slightly lighter color for the flower. The 8/0 seed beads aren't really "Metallic Chocolate" but they're very close to the same color. Miyuki doesn't make that color in size 8/0. I don't have the color info on them but they're obviously not Miyuki because of the irregular shape of most of them.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • SuperDuo beads "Opaque Rose Gold Topaz Luster"
You've seen a sample of these before but these are a finished pair that I made for myself. This is one of my favorites.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (461)
  • SuperDuo beads "Chalk Copper Picasso"
You've also seen a sample almost like this pair but this time I omitted the second seed bead color and used only the chocolate beads. I've decided that I prefer the seed beads to all be the same color. I also made these using my favorite variation of the design. I think these are my all-time favorite.

It might be a couple of days before I post my tweaks to the earring pattern. I took photos of each step but I need to write up the changes that I made to Nunzia's original tutorial before I can post them.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Video Tutorial - Nunzia's "Earrings Number One"

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Metallic Chocolate" (11-461)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Pewter" (D4222)
  • SuperDuo beads "Chalk Copper Picasso" *

I just finished making a sample earring while watching Nunzia Scalpore's latest YouTube video tutorial. You can watch the video HERE. When I came across the video last night I thought her design might have the potential for a cute pair of earrings if made with the right colors. I wasn't keen on any of Nunzia's color choices but the design looked interesting and very different from anything I've seen before. I think they have a very Art Nouveau look, which I love.

I didn't put a lot of thought into my bead colors for this sample. I already had those SuperDuo beads out so grabbed two metallic seed bead colors that both went well with them. I thought that the pewter seed beads might complement the somewhat coppery color of the chocolate beads. I think the color combo works but I'll play around with other color combinations after I get the tutorial written down.

I made one tweak already far in this sample. I popped out the center seed bead at the very bottom of the earring. Otherwise those five beads looked a little messy. I can see that something needs to be done with some of the interior seed beads too to get them looking a bit neater. One other thing that I will definitely do is put an 8/0 seed bead at the very top instead of an 11/0 so that I can put a jump ring through it. For this sample I used two jump rings like Nunzia did on hers but I don't like how the earring tends to spin around.

I think it might just be due to the SuperDuo beads that I chose for my sample because the "flower" is puffing out in the center. I can see in the video that Nunzia's SuperDuos are a longer thin shape than the shorter fat ones I used but I kind of like the dimensional look of the puffy flower. I think it adds character to the earring.

Before I go back and watch the video again to take notes, I want to mention that you should use fine thread such as FireLine or Nymo B if you make these earrings. There are some beads that you need to go through several times and I had to cheat and take a couple of shortcuts across the back of my sample just to finish it. The Nymo D thread I used was too thick.

OK, I'm off to get the tutorial written down so that I can play around with it some more...

* You probably won't be able to find this color anywhere but "Chalk Lazure Blue" is a pretty good substitute. These are similar but quite a bit darker than "Chalk Lazure Blue".

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Losange Bracelet

Today's bracelet is based on the motif from Sidonia's free "Losange Earrings" video tutorial which you can watch HERE. I like this version better than the way I made my first sample the other day with the little crosses between the motifs as you can see in this photo that I posted on Wednesday:

I made each motif separately and then connected them with a shared 8/0 seed bead. I made the first motif and then made the second motif to the point where you're supposed to pick up the second set of five 8/0 seed beads. Instead, I picked up two 8/0's, when went through the 8/0 on one end of the first motif and then picked up the other two 8/0's and proceeded as directed. I think the motif works very well as a bracelet but it is a lot more chunky than anything I've made before. So that you can get an idea of the scale of the bracelet, I took a photo of it on my wrist:

After I'd made and connected five motifs, it became apparent that it would be much too long if I added one more motif and it was too short with just five. So, I came up with the idea of using the small inner part of the motif to extend the length only a little and that worked perfectly. I attached my magnet clasp with jump rings. I think I should have used a darker bronze clasp but that's OK because I will need to take this bracelet apart and remake it anyway. It's really just a sample and I didn't take care to weave in the threads properly or reinforce it as well as I should have. I will also make a pair of the earrings to match the bracelet and I will make them without the drop bead.

The inner part of the motif had a tendency to puff out sometimes but it doesn't seem to do that when I'm wearing it.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 4mm druks "Bronze"
  • 4mm druks "Siam Matte"

UPDATE: I've changed the name of the bracelet because Sidonia is now calling her earrings "Losange Earrings". "Losange" means "diamond".

Friday, September 19, 2014

Playing with my beads...Sidonia's Bollywood Bezel

Although I wasn't terribly keen on Sidonia's "Bollywood Earrings", I really like the bezel that they're built around. My plan is to come up with a way to embellish the bezels to make some earrings. I love the original round rivoli bezel shape but I have a lot more color options in 10x12mm oval chatons. They just happen to work very well with the design as long as the beads are small enough. As Sidonia mentions in her YouTube video, which you can watch HERE, it's important to use Miyuki seed beads for the best fit around the stone. I found out while making these samples that not all Miyuki 15/0 seed beads are the same size either. I had the most trouble with the silver beads which made for a very loose bezel. The only other color that gave me trouble was the "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold". Oddly enough, the "Duracoat Galvanized Mink Bronze" worked fine. I guess that some colors of the same bead type must have thicker coatings on them than others. In any case, I didn't like that bright gold very much. My favorites are the "Dark Bronze" and "Light Bronze" with the later being my first choice because it shows off the detail of the bezel the best. That's the one in the photo in the bottom row on the far right. It's my favorite one of the bunch.

I thought you'd like to see how pretty the bezel looks from the side:

And here is what they look like from the back:


Here is a break-down of the beads I used in each sample (left to right starting with the top row in the photo):

Sample 1
15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
12mm Swarovski rivoli "Bermuda Blue"

Sample 2
15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Mink Bronze" (D4213)
10x12mm chaton "Light Amethyst"

Sample 3
15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver-Nickel" (464A)
10x12mm chaton "Aquamarine"

Sample 4
15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
10x12mm chaton "Light Peach"

Sample 5
15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Dark Gold" (D4203)
10x12mm chaton "Topaz"

Sample 6
15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
10x12mm chaton "Amethyst"

NOTE: Some of the chaton colors are my own interpretation of the color name and not necessarily the actual color name.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Playing with my beads...Bollywood Earrings

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 3mm bicones "Black" (Chinavoski)
  • 12mm Swarovski rivoli "Bermuda Blue"

Although I think they're very pretty, I've decided that they're not the earrings for me. I really like this new sample earring that I made yesterday but it looks very odd when I'm wearing it. All that I can see are the seed beads and the blue rivoli. All the black bicones become invisible against my dark hair. I will try to find a way to use the bezel because it's a very nice one and I haven't seen many bezel patterns for 12mm rivolis.

I haven't made any more samples of Sidonia's seed bead earrings/bracelet yet but I might do that this afternoon now that my other work is finally done for the day.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Playining with my beads...Two new earring video tutorials by Sidonia

I know that I should be working on my Christmas beadwork but I just heard through Jeanie Callaghan that Sidonia has two new video tutorials out as of Monday. I especially liked the seed bead earrings but I also thought that the "Bollywood Earrings" were interesting enough to give them a try. I wasn't sure if they'd be something I would wear but I wouldn't know until I made them and tried them on. Here are the links to both videos:

Beaded Earrings Tutorial

Bollywood Earrings Tutorial

I don't like to do my beading while sitting at my computer so I watched both videos once and then watched them each again and wrote down the steps as she did them. That way I was able to sit comfortably on the couch with my beads and also have sufficient light.

The seed bead earrings are very quick and easy to make and only need four kinds of beads, if you add the drop bead. I think I prefer them without a drop though. Because of the large size beads, I recommend using regular Nymo D thread to give the earrings more stability. I think they'd come out very soft with FireLine or Nymo B thread. As you can see in one of my sample earrings, I added an accent color for two of the druks.

Next I tried connecting a few motifs to see how they'd look in a bracelet. It's kind of pretty, isn't it? In my sample, I tried three different color ideas. I think that I like the colored druks to be in the center of the motif the best. I didn't think about connecting the motifs until after I'd created three of them and I think I'd like the bracelet better if the motifs shared the 8/0 seed bead on the end. I haven't worked out how to make it that way but I think I know what I'd need to do. I'd have to make the first motif and then during the process of making the second motif I would weave in through the end bead of the first motif instead of adding a new bead when I get to that point. I'll give it a try and will post a photo later.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 4mm druks "Bronze"
  • 4mm druks "Siam Matte"
  • 4mm druks "Matte Hurricane Lace Lichen"
  • 4mm druks "Rosaline Matte Luster"
  • Drop beads "Black" and "Amethyst AB"

I'm still not sure how well I like the "Bollywood Earrings". They're a bit over-the-top. They're big, but not huge and I do love the details on them. The bezel is very pretty too. However, my earrings came out a little bit warped because I used Chinese bicones instead of Swarovski. The Chinese bicones are larger so they spread the seed beads out a little too much. I may need to tweak something somewhere to account for their size. I've got 12mm rivolis in two other colors so I'll make a couple more samples to see if I like them better than this one. I also just remembered that I have some black 3mm Chinese bicones that are closer to the size of the Swarovski ones so I'll try those next. Black will go with all of the rivoli colors that I have. Besides the "Seal" one that I used in the sample below, I also have some "Opaque Black" ones and some "Bermuda Blue" ones.

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 3mm bicones "Green AB" (from China)
  • 12mm Swarovski rivoli "Seal"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Playing with my beads...Starlace Bracelet

The other night, Jeanie Callaghan asked me if I knew where to get Sabine Lippert's "Starlace Bracelet" pattern. She had seen it all over Pinterest but it wasn't to be found anywhere on Sabine's website, HERE. It used to be a free pattern and I've had a copy of it since way back when I first started beading. For some reason, Sabine no longer has this pattern available for download anywhere that I can find. I did see the PDF file online somewhere but I'm not sure if this was sanctioned by Sabine or not. I couldn't tell if the site where the PDF file originated belonged to Sabine and I can't verify that the file is safe to download. It does open in Firefox as a normal PDF file. I found it by searching with Google for "Sternenspitze.pdf".


As a beginning beader, I recall that this pattern was quite challenging for me and I only made one bracelet which I later took apart because it didn't fit right. Jeanie's email gave me the urge to dig out the pattern and give it another try. You see, back when I made it the first time, I had a very meager collection of beads to choose from. Now I have a wonderful selection of colors and different kinds of beads and I was sure that I could come up with some nice color combinations.

Sabine uses quite a few different types of beads in her version of the bracelet. I decided to simplify it and only used three or four kinds in each of my samples. Because I used slightly different sized beads in mine, I had to adjust the number of and size of the beads used in the center part of the motif. Instead of using Magatamas, I used 8/0 seed beads. Instead of four 15/0 seed beads between the Magatamas in the centers, I used just a single 11/0 seed bead between each one. This combination of beads seems to work very well whether I use fire polished beads, bicones or druks as the main large beads.

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Opaque Brown Tan Picasso" (4517)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Opaque Beige Picasso"

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads "Metallic Olive" (no info available)
  • 4mm druks "Sage Green"

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Antique Silver-Nickel" (11-464A)
  • 8/0 seed beads Toho "Transparent Frosted Sugar Plum" (TR-08-19F/c)
  • 4mm bicones "Amethyst AB - #C12 AB" (Beads One)

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Opaque Brown Picasso" (4517) *
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Transparent Light Topaz Picasso" (4501)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Crystal Picasso Matte"

* These are from a different dye lot and supplier than the ones I used in the top sample. That dye lot actually has bits of blue on the beads but the other dye lot doesn't seem to have any blue and is a darker brown.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Marquesa Earrings - Metallic Suede Blue

Just a quick post today to show you the earrings I made for myself yesterday. I needed some colorful earrings to go with a colorful top and these blue bicones were a perfect match. I'm thinking about making a bracelet to go with them using the same SuperDuo beads and perhaps some black accent beads. I haven't decided on the bracelet pattern yet.


  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki Dark Bronze (11-457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki Dark Bronze (8-457D)
  • 14mm rivolis "Jet"
  • SuperDuos "Metallic Suede Blue"
  • 4mm druks "Bronze"

You can buy the earring pattern HERE.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Crystal Tile - Teal & Pale Gold

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Light Golden Bronze" (D4204)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Copper Teal"
  • 4mm bicones "Light Colorado AB - #C26 AB" (Beads One)

Although the "Crystal Flower Bracelet" was very cute, this one is my favorite of the two. You can buy this pattern from Around the Beading Table HERE.

Here are both bracelets and the earrings:

Here's the list of beads I used to make the earrings:

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Light Golden Bronze" (D4204)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Copper Teal"
  • 4mm bicones "Light Colorado AB - #C26 AB" (Beads One)
  • 7x5mm drop beads "Transparent Champagne Luster"

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bracelet of the Day: Crystal Flower - Teal & Pale Gold

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Light Golden Bronze" (D4204)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Light Golden Bronze" (D4204)
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Copper Teal"
  • 4mm bicones "Light Colorado AB - #C26 AB" (Beads One)

Here is the first bracelet in the set that I've been working on and posting about recently. Tomorrow I will post the second bracelet as well as the earrings. This pattern is by Deborah Roberti and you can buy it from Around the Beading Table HERE.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Bracelet of the Day - Dorothy Bracelet

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Olivine" (15-458)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Olivine" (11-458)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Olivine" (8-458)
  • 4mm druks "Opaque Green Luster"
  • Twin beads "Green Scarab"

Today's bracelet was made for me by my friend Teejay. It's her own creation and it's sort of a variation of the "Lovely Lace Bracelet" pattern that she shared with us recently. I had challenged Teejay to come up with a motif similar to the one in "Lovely Lace" but a horizontal motif instead of a vertical one. This bracelet is the result. It looks totally different than "Lovely Lace" but is very pretty. The name of the pattern is in honor of a dear friend of Teejay's who passed away.

Teejay used Twin beads in my bracelet but she said that regular SuperDuo beads actually work a little better. Here's a photo of the Twin beads that she used:

We'll be working on another pattern collaboration for this bracelet but I thought you might like to see it now. I will post the pattern for download when it's finished. I'll be pretty busy between now and Christmas so I might not post the pattern until after the new year.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Silver Moon Mini Earrings

Here is the "little" surprise that I mentioned last Monday. I made the "Silver Moon" pattern as directed but with smaller beads. They're super tiny and delicate. I think that the full-size earrings are fun and have a casual look but these tiny ones are a bit dressier and fancy. That could be because of the pearls which are the only beads that I have in 2mm. Because these earrings are so small, some of the bead colors don't show up all that well when I wear them. Only the teal ones are colorful enough that I can see the color against my hair. That's fine though because I like the sparkle of the bicones.

As you'll see in the "ingredient" lists below, these are the bead size changes that I made:

11/0 seed beads = 15/0 seed beads
8/0 seed beads = 11/0 seed beads
4mm bicones = 3mm bicones
3mm druks = 2mm pearls

Because a jump ring won't fit through an 11/0 seed bead, I had to make the loop at the top a different way for the small earrings. I picked up three 15/0 seed beads, a 2mm pearl then seven 15/0 seed beads. I went back down through the pearl and picked up three more 15/0 seed beads. I wove my way back down through the next two seed beads of the earring then went across through the bicone at the top and up through the two seed beads on the other side of the bicone before going back up the other side of the loop and again through the pearl. I then went through the first two seed beads of the top loop, picked up one seed bead then went through the next three seed beads. Next I picked up a seed bead and went through the last two seed beads of the top loop and then down through the pearl again and the three seed beads on the other side of the base of the loop. I went around the loop twice more to reinforce it.

You'll need to use fine thread for these mini earrings and use six 15/0 seed beads around each of the petals if you're using 2mm pearls like I did. These mini earrings will come out softer and more flexible than the full-size ones because of the fine thread. I bought my 2mm pearls from Aria Design Studio Etsy HERE.

For more information about this free pattern, click HERE.

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads "Purple Luster" (from Deb Roberti - no info available)
  • 3mm bicones "Purple AB - #199" (from China)
  • 2mm pearls "Light Champagne" (Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Inside-Color Montana Blue/Oxblood Lined" (TR-11-363/c)
  • 3mm bicones "Dark Rose - #203" (from China)
  • 2mm pearls "Ivory" (Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads "Topaz Lined Teal" (from Deb Roberti - no info available)
  • 3mm bicones "Teal AB" (Chinavoski)
  • 2mm pearls "Old Lace" (Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads "Champagne Lined" (from Deb Roberti - no info available)
  • 3mm bicones "Champagne Silver AB - #205" (from China)
  • 2mm pearls "Light Bronze Satin" (Aria Design Studio)

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Caramel Ceylon" (11-593)
  • 3mm bicones "Light Topaz AB" (Chinavoski)
  • 2mm pearls "Antique Ivory" (Aria Design Studio)