Friday, 27 March 2015

Sparkles and Spikes Bangle

In my last post I teased a little...  I said that I'd made something similar but a little more bonkers...

Well here it is:

I call it Sparkles and Spikes and it just makes me laugh every time I look at it because it was such an unbelievable joy to bead! Horns, wings, rivolis suspended in mid-air? Yeah baby, it's got it all!   It's a bit of a bugger to photograph though!

As you can see, I kept the pallette pretty simple, using only silver lined crystal and silver lined smoke delicas to complement the Swarovski rivolis in black diamond.

Starting with a simple MRAW band of 84 units, I increased the plain silver mid section into horns with enough space between them for the rivolis to sit quite happily between them.  Then I turned my attention to the smoky wings and increased them just enough so that , using one of the beads in the bezel as the tip of the wing both top and bottom, the rivoli would hang there, away from the bangle.  I wanted them to be close to the tips of the horns but not quite as far out - mainly to give them a bit of protection but also so that the horns attack first!  Surprisingly, the wings are exactly half the number of rows as the horns, even though they look so very much shorter to me.

The inside of the bangle is nice and smooth on the inside.  It's pretty stiff and solid but squishes down just enough to get it over the hand - phew!

I do hope you like it and that it makes you laugh as much as me!

It is available in my Etsy shop here.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Golden Chocolate Rick Rack Bracelet

Oh my goodness it's been a while!  I didn't quite realise just how long it had been though!  Ooops...

Anyways, I have been incredibly busy with my needle, thread, beads and a smattering of Swarovski rivolis and am pleased to show you my latest bracelet:

As you can see, I used Jean Power's amazing Rick Rack pattern, started off by using the incredible Contemporary Geometric Beadwork MRAW start.  As this isn't the first Rick Rack bracelet I've done, I also made the Double Layer Rick Rack bracelet last year, I noticed that those delicious v shapes could be perfectly filled using Swarovski pear shaped crystals.  This got me thinking....

I used MRAW to bezel the Swarovski crystals (I used 18x13mm Pear Fancy Stones in Golden Shadow), which was surprisingly easy on the hands.  The stones didn't pop out or misbehave in any way whist I was beading - highly recommend using this method of bezelling!

I used delicas in Dark Bronze Matte and Galvanised Light Champagne Duracoat for the front.  I used the champagne for the ladders in the MRAW on the stones so decided to echo that in the main bracelet as well and then do a zigzag stripe of the gold to really draw those crystals into the design as a whole.

As you can see in this shot, the bracelet is double layered.  It could work single layered but I think that because I decided to use the bigger crystals, the body needed to be much more sturdy than a single layer.  I'm a tight beader and even one layer of rick rack is pretty strong but I really didn't want this bad boy to buckle over time with lots of wear! The reverse of the bracelet is just plain matte dark bronze as there was no need for there to be any ornamentation as it generally won't be seen.

It was finished with a simple gold slide clasp, the loops of which were securely attached and hidden inside the bracelet to give it a fully finished and sleek look.  

I must admit that I'm really proud of how well this bracelet turned out.  It sits really closely to the wrist (well, mine anyway!) and looks quite chic and elegant - not my usual style at all! It is exactly what I imagined when I first put needle and thread to beads - that never happens! I hope you like it too.

I've also finished another bangle that's along these lines but a teeny touch more bonkers - I'll blog it soon!