I'm a big fan of Chef Bobby Flay. His spicy, smoky, Southwest-infused food is my favorite flavor palette. That being said, I love watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay on Food Network. Food is his thing, right? But on this show, he steps outside his comfort zone and challenges someone else on their own turf. That's what I call walking the walk! Here at Bead&Button magazine, we have our own version of a throwdown -- a beading throwdown. Editor Julia Gerlach challenges us to step outside our comfort zone and create a design using beads or findings not of our own choosing. Sometimes it's easy, and sometimes it's not. For the February 2013 issue, Julia, Associate Editor Connie Whittaker, and I took part in a Bead Whiz throwdown. We each
had to pick a component or two from Bead Whiz's Ezel Findings collection and come up with a
design featuring them.
For my challenge piece, I chose to make a bracelet using Bead Whiz 8 mm round
findings, and here are the instructions if you would like to make one too! If you
don't have the Bead Whiz findings, you can still make a cute bracelet following
steps 6-8, but instead of starting with the loop of an 8 mm finding, use a small
jump ring. Then make as many diamond-shaped components as necessary for the
desired length of your bracelet.
Luckily there are no winners or losers in our beading throwdowns, but if you'd like to see some of our other challenges, you'll find them in the Bead Soup section of the magazine every issue. Watch for the April issue's challenge using Preciosa's new color palettes!
4 Bead Whiz 8 mm
round Ezel Findings
1 g 3 mm bugle beads (Toho 01-329, gold luster African
1 g 8/0 seed beads (Toho 1207, marbled opaque
1 g 11/0 seed beads in each of 2 colors:
A (Toho 857F, hybrid frosted
B (Czech, bronze)
1 g 15/0 seed beads (Toho 307, hybrid turquoise Picasso)
2 6 mm jump rings
Fireline 6 lb. test
beading needles, #12
2 pairs of pliers
1. On 1½ yd. (1.4 m) of Fireline, sew through a loop on one side of an 8 mm Bead Whiz finding, leaving a temporary 8-in. (20 cm) tail.
2. Pick up a color A 11/0 seed bead, a 3 mm
bugle bead, and an A, and sew through the next side loop. Repeat three more
times to complete the round (figure 1),
and tie the beads into a ring with a square knot (Online Beading Basics), leaving a 20-in. (51 cm) tail.
Retrace the thread path two or three times, and exit an A before a loop.
3. Pick up three 15/0 seed beads, skip the next loop of the 8 mm
finding, and sew through the following A. Pick up a bugle bead, and sew through the
next A. This bugle bead will sit on top of the bugle bead in the previous
round. Repeat this step to complete the round. Sew through the beadwork to exit
the loop in the 8 mm finding opposite the tail (figure 2).
4. To make the join: Pick up an 8/0 seed bead, a loop of
another 8 mm finding, and an 8/0, and sew through the loop of the previous finding. Retrace the thread path, and exit the loop of
the new finding (figure 3).
5. Repeat steps 2-4 three times to
connect and embellish a total of four 8 mm findings.
6. To make a diamond shape without the 8 mm finding: With
the thread exiting the loop of the previous 8 mm finding, pick up an 8/0, a color B 11/0
seed bead, and an 8/0, and sew through the loop your thread exited at the start
of this step. Retrace the thread path, and exit the B.
7. Pick up a repeating pattern of an A, a bugle, an A, and a B
three times, and then pick up an A, a bugle, and an A. Sew through the B
your thread exited at the start of this step to form a ring. Retrace the thread
path several times, and exit an A just before a B.
8. Work as in step 3, skipping the Bs instead of the loops
to embellish the ring. Retrace the thread path, and exit a B opposite the join
to be in position to make the next component.
9. Work as in steps 6-8 two or three more times to make additional
diamond shapes without the 8 mm finding.
10. Work as in steps 6-9 with the tail to add two or three
diamond shapes to the other end of the bracelet. A 6½-in. (16.5 cm) bracelet
will have three components without 8 mm findings on each end.
1. With the thread exiting a B on an end component, pick up
seven 15/0s, and sew through the B your thread exited at the start of this step
to make a loop. Retrace the thread path several times to secure, and end the
thread (Online Basics).
2. Open a jump ring (Online Basics), and attach the seven-bead loop to half
of the clasp.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the tail and the other half of
the clasp. End the tail.