Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tila Bracelets

The July, 2012, issue of BeadStyle Magazine arrived at the bead shop on Wednesday, and we have already dived in and made several projects.
Customers really enjoy seeing the various projects actually made up, and we enjoy (usually, anyway) making them - so here is one that we have explored this week:
On page 42, there is a Tila bead project entitled Tila Inspiration. It calls for Tilas, 4mm Swarovski bicones, 1.5mm cubes, and 15/0 seed beads. Although the project is worked on Fireline, with 2 needles, it isn't really beadweaving - it's really a stringing project.

I own a bead shop, but I can't tell you how many times I want to try various patterns in various beading magazines, and yet I don't even have all the bead ingredients the pattern calls for! So I can't even imagine how often that happens to beaders who don't own bead shops! But I can get very creative with substitutions, which also helps my customers figure out variations for projects.

And this pattern was no exception. I don't have any 1.5mm cubes. Fortunately, these weren't critical to the pattern. And speaking of not critical - while the project calls for 4mm Swarovski bicones, I rarely use Swarovskis to make spec bracelets for the shop - they're pretty, and I love 'em, but they are too pricey to use in demo projects! We almost always substitute 4mm Czech firepolish beads for 4mm Swarovskis (round or bicone), 3 mm Czech firepolish for 3mm Swarovskis, and so on.

On Friday, my friend Sonya used this Tila Inspiration pattern to create one variation - she used a bronze iris Tila bead, terra cotta-colored Czech firepolish beads, bronze 15/0s, and copper findings (the project calls for French wire, but we substituted wire guardians).

One of my favorite summer shirts is a lavender floral, for which I have no matching bracelets! Horror! And I never remember that I need a lavender bracelet until I put the shirt on, which I did again yesterday morning. So after arriving at the shop and getting all situated, I decided "no time like the present" - I love the bracelet that Sonya created on Friday, so I pulled some purple and lavender beads, and made one for myself!

Sonya's is the top one, mine is the lavender one under it:

I didn't have a purple 15/0 that matched my Tilas and firepolish (and, more importantly, my T-shirt!) very well, so I used 11/0s. Another substitution - good thing there are no bead police, right?

Sonya and I used slightly different stringing patterns - she strung her 15/0s once between each set of firepolish beads, and I strung my 11/0s on either side of the Tilas.

And I used Sterling silver findings with my purple beads, instead of copper:

These bracelets stitch up really quickly, and I love the way mine lies on my wrist - the 3 strands lie flat, and they separate a little when I move, and act like I'm wearing stacking bracelets. Pretty cool!

So, don't be afraid to play around with substitutions in beading patterns! You'll be pleasantly surprised what you can come up with!

And don't tell anyone that I started (and finished) a new project before I finished my Zombie Iolite Necklace - that is verboten!


Karin Slaton said...

I love the look of a stacked wrist, and this is a clever way to get it! I have some great blue-grey tilas on my bead table and you've just inspired me to put them to use!

dreaminofbeads / SAS Jewelry Designs said...

How dare you leave the zombie project to do something else....I may have to tell the bead police on you...LOL. That bracelet was very easy to do and I think I will make one for myself in black and red!

Sweet Freedom said...

Black and red? But you already have 27 black and red bracelets! LOL.