I am so resistant to new bead shapes... I still haven't played around with peanut (farafelle) beads yet!! I am an admitted seed bead snob, and I have my favorites - 11s, 15s, drops and teeny tiny 1.8mm cubes among them - and so I entirely leave my comfort zone when I get new shapes. I should really know by now that a new shape can also bring in a burst of creativity, but I push it aside usually, anyway. (The above image is from Beads&Babble on Etsy - and if you click the pic you will be taken to their listing. I intend no copyright infringement by using their photo.)
I was even more reluctant than usual to try out the new Czech twin beads, as I had heard an awful lot of bad press, especially about uniformity. But then I saw a tutorial that I really really wanted to try out, and it used the twins in a rope - and I am a sucker for ropes of all kinds. Since I didn't have any at all, I went shopping around and found some twins that had the most awesome matte color, and then some that had a great metallic shine... and so of course ended up buying a few shades more!
When they arrived, I spilled them all out on my bead mat to check them out, looking to see how many of them would be unusable (half a bead, no hole, or all hole, lol). I honestly didn't find as many as I expected to; maybe fifteen or less out of 8 grams. Then, I checked out how thin/fat they were compared to one another, and that's when I really noticed the difference. They seem to have one size of HUGE and then one size of teeny tiny thin, and I found that I would need to separate those from each other while working or it would drive me nuts.
I did make the rope - but only about four inches, before I had a 'what if' moment and had to thread another needle and try out my idea. I really like how it turned out - my Runway bracelet was the result of that play session, and I found while stitching it up that the differences in size of the beads did not show up as much when the twins were separated from each other and spaced apart. I still tried to use fairly uniform sizes, but I was able to sneak in a few larger or thinner ones (as needed, as I didn't buy large quantities of the twins) and still have a finished looking bracelet. And Runway is very meditative for me, there are a lot of circles in the thread path, and it was relaxing to make - for once, I really didn't mind doing up three versions of one thing!! I am thinking of having some kits for these in the near future and I listed the tutorial for this yesterday in my Etsy shop, if you'd like to make one, too. :)
The next play session came from a thought I had, wondering if a flat spiral would work with the twins despite two holes rather than one - and it did!! I had some false starts with this one, as I couldn't quite find how to get from one place to the next without huge amounts of thread showing, but I think I have it knocked - as long as you use thread that is very similar in color to the bead, or use smoke Fireline... I tried it with white thread and it still showed much too much for my taste. I also think that this one would be more supple and have a nicer drape if I used Nymo or One G rather than Fireline - and I can't believe I said that because I never use anything but Fireline!
I've had two requests to make this one into a tutorial... what do you think?? All in all, I think I've made friends with the twin beads, and I hope I can think up something else to play with using them.
My next challenge will involve the long magatama beads... and I am stumped on this one, it will indeed be a challenge!
lovely work! Thank you for sharing. Those matte and iris colours are teh lushness.ReplyDelete
I have been having fun with twin beads, using them to bezel rivolis and stones.... ast night I dreamed of another way to use them so perhaps I'll try that out today.
Oh I want you to play with the long magatamas too! I have some and know that if you came up with a design it would shatter my anger with them. LOL I am still reeling that you said you would use thread and not fireline......I nearly fainted! LOLReplyDelete
I know, it's utterly amazing, isn't it?? LOL! I hope I can come up with something for the magatamas, I am nervous about it... :)Delete
I so wish I could watch you work... Luv the thought that goes into each piece and the exquisite detail!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jin! Mwah!!!!Delete
Such beautiful designs, Nancy! I can't wait to make my own "Runway" bracelet! Hope you'll have the tutorial for the pink/gold/green one, too!ReplyDelete
Thank you Callie! I can't WAIT to see yours!!Delete
Beautiful. I think you should turn the other into a pattern also.ReplyDelete
You are so inspiring Nancy. :D
Candys in Oklahoma
Thank you, Candy! I've started it this morning... :)Delete
I love your twin designs... it almost makes me want to cut up the piece I tried to make with them when they first came out, and have another go! I got so angry with their lack of uniformity... but they were very close together!ReplyDelete
Gorgeous designs! I love your work.
Thank you so much, Becs!!! You're very inspiring yourself, you know!!! I love what you make, and I am SO loving your new embroidery!!Delete
Those are lovely! I am also stumped on the long magatamas - I am hopeful that once I have them in hand something will spark!ReplyDelete
Oh, I'm hoping too, Cynthia!!!! :) Thank you!!Delete
Beautiful - I love both designs. The teal in the first bracelet is absolutely gorgeous. I also love your second design - such a pretty piece. I've just ordered some twin beads so might have to invest in one of your patterns when they arrive!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much, Karyn!!! I hope you will try Runway, I think you would like it!! ;)Delete
This probably sounds really dumb but can u tell me what are the twin beads and magatamas your talking about? I'm guessing the twins have 2 holes, but not sure. IV been away from beading for a few years now. Due to the economy we had to move into an RV and I just didn't have the room. I missed beading so much. Now we reasently have a small house but that's a castle to me. I have room to bead now. But I'm finding there a lot of new beautifull beads. I found your blog and love your work. I can't wait to get some of your patterns. I do know some seed bead stitches so I hope I can follow your patterns. What do you think?ReplyDelete
OK me again LOL I feel pretty dingy. Some how I missed the picture at the top of your blog duh.. ya 2 holes. Sorry but I still would like to know about the magatamas. Thanks. A little slow. LolReplyDelete
You aren't dim at all! Congratulations on your new small home, and I am so happy you've found me in blog land!! Magatamas are a small tear drop shaped bead; long magatamas are longer and larger, and have more of an oval shape. The hole is also placed more in the middle, and you end up with a bead that is kind of lozenge shaped... I haven't used them at all, other than perhaps three of them in a fringe, so I am a little nervous about coming up with a new design with them! My patterns are really well photographed, each step, and explained out as well... if you've done beadwork before, I think you would have no problems! I hope you decide to try one, and thank you very much for your kind words on my work!! :)Delete
Interesting review of twin beads, I really love your runway bracelet and definitely think you should make a tutorial for the pink/gold one. Blog very inspiring, as always!
WOW! They are all great bracelets!!!!ReplyDelete
Nancy, your bracelets are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the information about the beads!ReplyDelete
So pretty Nancy! I think it would be a great tut!ReplyDelete
Absolutely stunning. Fantastic work.ReplyDelete
can you reveal where the tutorial came from on the rope bracelet please. I love it and I love your color choices.ReplyDelete
Donna, it was a tutorial by DebGer on Etsy - but I can't recall the name of it off the top of my head, sorry!Delete
Both designs are beautiful!ReplyDelete