Marlene 2

A couple of years ago, I lost my favorite beaded bracelet (the Marlene) at the engineering competition I was helping at.  I think that my coat caught the magnetic clasp and knocked it off my wrist.  After I realized it was really gone, I re-ordered the supplies to make it.  I even paid to ship the 2mm indigo round crystals all the way from Australia (which I made sure to buy enough extra beads).

After several messed up starts, this time I was determined to get this bracelet completed.  I honestly think that this time the bracelet was much harder to make.  Maybe because I knew that the bracelet is a hard make?  I was trying to get it to look more similar to the picture in the book but I had a hard time achieving that.

Again, I did not use the recommended number of right angle stitches on the bezel.  Looking at the example in the book, it really looks like the directions have you add an extra row on the front than what the example shows.  On the back, I did add an extra row just to make sure I had a more secure bezel setting.

I read through my notes, previous blog post, and the instructions.  But to be honest, I still couldn’t understand how to make the finished bracelet look more like the picture in the book.  The bracelet does look very similar to original bracelet that I made.

This time I used a box clasp instead of the recommended magnetic clasp in the book.  I have worn it a couple of times and the box style clasp seems to be holding up well and realistically probably blends in better with the art deco/ art nouveau style of the bracelet.




Ruffled Chain bracelet


I have finally finished up the Ruffled Chain bracelet from Beadwork’s February/ March 2011 issue. This bracelet shouldn’t have taken as long as it did.  Remember I posted the earrings I made from the pattern back in June 25, 2014.  I did start this when I got the supplies in July 2014. But I ended up having to redo the complete bracelet twice!  The bracelet got put on hold for quite a while.

I absolutely can’t stand the clasp that was written into the pattern instructions. It was the reason I had to redo the bracelet twice.  I started with the button and odd-count circular peyote stitch loop.  My first button was a crystal rivoli button (which probably wasn’t the best choice).  The thickness of the crystal rivoli button hampered the clasp.  I just did it to make it around the circle but when I was finished the odd count loop was just too tight to make it around the rivoli because of the thickness.  I had beads in the loop break and the clasp wasn’t very secure.


Second try didn’t seem to fair much better than the first. This time I tried a crystal 4 hole button (so it was flatter).  I really didn’t want to hassle with trying to make another odd count circular peyote stitched loop, so I used a simple beaded loop (I probably went through the beads at least three times).  That loop didn’t last long either, as I am putting the button through more beads crack and break.

So the project stayed shoved in a Clinique bag for at least a year, year and a half before I decided to redo it again. I think the real push was the teal t-shirts that I recently made.  But this was going to be the last time I ever make this exact bracelet again.  That means that the clasp had to be changed.  In my beading stash, there was a large silver lobster claw clasp, so that was what I used.  The other end is a simple loop for the lobster claw clasp to hook on.


If I had put more thought into the clasp change, a beaded toggle clasp would have really worked well here.

As for the Beadwork stats, they rated the project 2 beads (advance beginner/ intermediate) and uses circular peyote stitch, herringbone stitch, and picots. I think the rating is a little high; really the tricky part is getting a good tension on the circular peyote stitched circle for the ruffled links (I am not even considering the clasp in the review of difficulty).

Fun Floral Cuff- Beadwork April/ May 2011


I wanted to try out a new bead technique.  So I choose the “Contemporary Corsage” pattern from Beadwork’s April/ May 2011 issue.  It is a cuff bracelet that uses bead embroidery, and peyote stitch (to secure the rivoli).  Beadwork magazine rated this project 2 out of 3 beads.  Accordingly, two beads means “Designs for an intermediate beader, a beginner ready to expand skills, or an advance beader looking for a project that won’t take weeks to complete” (pg. 95 on April 2011 issue).  This is pretty accurate.  I really didn’t have any problems with this pattern and I probably fall somewhere between intermediate and beginner.


I just followed the material list in the instructions.  I didn’t even use half of the beads I picked up for this project.  The un-used beads from the material list include bead A, bead D, bead E, bead G and the 3mm bicones.  I think I picked up 10 grams of the cylinder size 11 beads.  Instead of using the white I had originally planned on for the petals, I switched it to the size 11 delica beads.   To be honest, as I was putting this together, I think the pattern is overdone.  There were just too many competing details.  I ended up leaving off the picot fringe around the center crystal just because it looked like it would be too much.  The bio for the designer did mention that she had designed jewelry for Steven Tyler, so maybe I should have expected it to be over the top?  I haven’t done anything else from this designer so I am not sure if that is just her design aesthetic.  Definitely read the instructions and decide what you want.


The one part of the directions I don’t like is for the 3mm pearls on the flower.  The instructions say to randomly place the 3mm pearls throughout the flower.  But look that the picture, I don’t think those pearls were “randomly” placed.  Also, there is no count on how many pearls to randomly place.  Some of the pearls are needed to edge the cuff part.  So if anyone decides to make this, definitely consider doing the cuff part first so you have all the 3 mm pearls to randomly place over the flower without short-changing your cuff part. I still ended up with extra 3mm pearls after doing the cuff part of my bracelet.

The pattern does say to glue the flower to the cuff then stitch it down.  I found that I had a difficult time trying to get the needle to pick up just a little of the suede on the cuff.  So I tacked down one end along the edge of the cuff instead.

I plan on using the flower part again to make a brooch.  I think the flower would look lovely on a coat or jacket.


Ruffled Earrings- Beadwork Feb/ March 2011

After finishing my Gabriola skirt, I really wanted to make a bracelet to go with it. I found a pattern I liked in a magazine and ordered the beads I wanted for it. So while I was waiting on my shipment of beads, I decided to follow the suggestion in the pattern and make a pair of earrings using the link components.


All the beads used were from my bead stash.  I decided to use the blue fabric background for the pictures because the colors of the earrings are bronze, gold, and silver.  I wasn’t certain if the gold would show up on my tan-colored sofa.  But I guess it did not matter because the blue seems to wash out the gold also and make the silver look like blue.

The pattern used is Ruffled Chain Bracelet by Laina Goodman. It was in Beadwork Magazine February/ March 2011 issue. It uses circular peyote stitch, herringbone stitch, and picots.

For each earring, it took about an hour to make.




Jewelry for Visiting Downton Abbey- Beadwork 12/2008

DSCI0163 I got the Egyptian Cuff bracelet pattern from a free e-book on the Beading Daily website.  But if you have the issue of Beadwork December 2008/ January 2009 magazine, it is in there also.

I could easily see this bracelet being worn on Downton Abbey (granted their bracelet probably would cost more than $35).  I think this bracelet has an art-deco style with the rectangles and loops.  If the oval fringe loops are done in a different seed bead color than the rectangular stations, it would really highlight the art-deco feel of the bracelet.  I didn’t really see this until after I got started on my bracelet.  It may be something to think about if I ever make this bracelet again.  Each rectangular station is created using a three layer Right Angle weave and then connected together.  I picked a champagne colored delica bead and the Indian pink crystals.  The stations resemble waffle fries sort of with a line of honeysuckle pink crystals down it.  When you look at the completed bracelet picture in the instructions, it looks a lot denser than what the actual results are.


This is a good beginner project.  The pattern isn’t too hard, the directions are very clear, and there are nice diagrams.  Recommended advice is to carefully watch what direction you start your second level.  One cannot go complete the seven beads across the first level.  The third level will not work out if the second layer is wrong.  The second level has to start with the adding 3 beads across the width.  This was the only thing I could come up with as to why I had to tear apart the second station I made.  I could have messed up something else but I couldn’t see what else I did wrong.


The hardest part of the bracelet was finding a pretty clasp.  The pattern only calls for a magnetic tube clasp.  But I really wanted to keep with the art deco style and thought a box clasp would look perfect on it.  The box style clasp would also mimic the tile stations too.  Anyways, since the delica beads are smaller than regular seed beads, I needed something with a little more length so the bracelet fit comfortable around my wrist.

This pattern could easily be adapted for a necklace.  The oval fringe would be longer (probably around two inches between stations) and on the short (4 stitch) side.

This is the second make of this bracelet. The first one I made was too small using groups of 4 for outside loops and 7 for the center loops (7 inches total). The 7 inch bracelet didn’t give my wrist enough room to move. The second version is slightly too big and I used groups of 6 for outside and 8 in the center (approximately 7.5 inches). So probably after the new year, I will redo this again and try for 7.25 inches.

Spiders- Bead & Button Feb 2011

This is probably a very risky project.  I decided to make my sister a pair of earrings for her birthday.  The risk wasn’t actually making the earrings but just the fact that I am not sure if she will like or even wear them.

There is relevance in the title.  I worked on this some over break at work.  Afterwards, someone came to my desk and told me there was a large spider on my desk.  But it was just the earring I had been working on.

I used the center component from the Nebula pattern in Bead and Button’s February 2011 issue.  All the beads were already in my stash.  None of the beads in the pattern are very hard to find (except maybe the 2mm crystals because I can only find them online).  I added the additional dangles from the bottom to have more of a chandelier effect.


Maggie- a bracelet tribute to Natalie Woods


According to the introduction of this pattern in Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Crystals, the pattern was inspired by a bracelet that Natalie Wood wore in the movie “The Great Race”.  I haven’t ever seen the movie.  The one time it was on Turner Classic Movies recently was when I wasn’t at home.  The picture in Jean Campbell’s book though looks very classy and the end result certainly didn’t disappoint at all. 

 This bracelet was specifically meant to go with the linen fabric I picked for a 1950’s style dress.  Since I wanted to be able to wear this bracelet with other outfits as well, I decided to go fairly simple with the color selections and only picked one of the colors from the dress fabric instead of two.  I used the last of my silver seed beads from the Olivia necklace.  Then I played with the plain and aurora borealis finish on my colored crystals. 

 I sat trying to figure out what I was supposed to do at Step 1 Curve part.  It just didn’t make sense.  The picture is only part of the component but I wasn’t really understanding which beads were the ones shown in the figure.  I kept trying until tragedy struck.  A size 15 silver bead said enough was enough and just broke.  So component one was taken apart to redo.  I then went ahead and skipped Step 1 Curve part.  From what I can tell, it may not be a necessary step.  My bracelet looks like it came out fine without this step. 

 I just could not put a snap clasp in another bracelet.  I have troubles putting on the bracelet I put a snap clasp on by myself.  This time I tried a mini magnetic clasp.  The little clasp is fairly flat.  Hopefully the little clasp will work well.  I couldn’t find anything else that looked like it would work. 

 Out of the four projects I have made from this book (Marlene, Olivia, Elizabeth, and Maggie), this is definitely the one I would recommend for a beginner.  Each link section only took about 20 minutes to make.  Each silver disc for the clasp was about 40 minutes.   Besides the Step 1 Curve, everything else is pretty easy.  After making a couple of links, you don’t even really need to have the book out to finish up the rest of the links. 

 This bracelet could look really cute (and perhaps modern) completed in a multiple colors. This may need to be considered for all the left-over 4mm crystal beads from previous project.  A burst of color should make a very spring inspired bracelet.   It would seriously be something to consider if I get to needing a quick bracelet for a special occasion or gift.  The look can be slightly different by adding more links in.  I really think this is the one I should make for my mom. It has a tennis bracelet look that she would like.  It may be intriguing to try using the links from this bracelet to make a band around a Christmas tree ornament.  It may be something to keep in mind when the next holiday season comes up.


(This was the best picture I could get quickly early this morning.)