- 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Light Pewter" (4221)
- 11/0 seed beads Toho "Opaque Black" (49)
- CzechMates 2-hole tile beads "Opaque Red"
- 3mm druks "Jet"
- 4mm druks "Jet"
You've probably noticed that it's not easy to find beads in pretty shades of red. With a few exceptions, we are limited to what is called "Opaque Red" and most kinds of Czech beads come in this color. I call it "Christmas Red" and Deb Roberti calls it "Fire Engine Red". Whatever you want to call it, it's not the sort of red that appeals to me very much. This wouldn't be an issue for me except that I've had requests to make bracelets and earrings with red beads.
So, I just bought some opaque red SuperDuos, fire polished beads in two sizes and some CzechMates tile beads. Thankfully they aren't quite as bright and garish as the photos that I saw online but they're still a very bright red. I've decided to challenge myself to come up with bracelets and earrings that don't look like they should only be worn at Christmas time and that I wouldn't mind wearing myself.
I thought I'd start with the CzechMates and my go-to CzechMates bracelet pattern is Deb Roberti's "Coin Bands". You can buy Deb's pattern HERE at Around the Beading Table.
I made the sample on the far left as the pattern instructs except that I used two seed bead colors. I knew that red and silver alone would look a bit like Christmas jewelry so I wanted to add a touch of black. I purposely went with Toho's 11/0 black seed beads because they're fatter than Miyuki's. I wanted to make sure that the space in the corners of the motifs was nicely filled with black. I also thought they might help keep the curves of silver seed beads around the outside edge more rounded and I think they do help.
I was pretty happy with the way that first sample turned out but I thought that the red was a little overwhelming. So, I came up with the idea of adding some black druks between the motifs to add a little more black and also to spread the read beads a little farther apart. I tried 4mm druks first as you can see in the middle sample. I liked them very much and thought that was what I would do for my final bracelet but decided that I'd better give 3mm druks a try as well. The sample on the far right has 3mm black druks and I like them even better than the 4mm druks. They give the motifs a little breathing room but don't spread them apart as much as the 4mm druks.