Friday, October 20, 2017

Today's Tangles

Although I do have a small stash of official Zentangle tiles, I've never used them and I would never buy them because they're so expensive. The few that I have were a gift and I'm hoarding them for something special. What I use is card stock that I cut into 3.5x3.5" squares. Although I could use a corner rounder on them to make them more like the official tiles, I don't bother. Since I make my own greeting cards, I have a variety of card stock colors on hand. I also found a really THIS nice assortment pack of card stock at Walmart for $3.97. You get 50 sheets in five earth tone colors. You'll get six "tiles" from each 8.5x11" sheet. Two of the colors that come in the pack are very smooth paper, two colors have a somewhat rough texture and the fifth color has a very coarse texture. I like drawing on all of them but I do find that it's easier to draw on the coarser card stock with a larger nib Micron pen such as an 02 or 03.

Each of today's tangles was drawn on one of the five colors in the "Neenah Naturals" assortment pack.

This card stock color is called "Honeycomb" and it's the coarsest of the bunch. I use a Micron 03 pen on this paper. The "Neuron" pattern can be found at HERE.

I used the color called "Concrete" with this tangle. It has a slightly rough texture. I used a Micron 02 on this paper. "Gotcha" is from also from and you can get the step-out HERE. has a video link HERE.

This paper color is "Husk" and it has a very smooth finish. I use a Micron 01 to draw on this color. This tangle pattern is called "Flossie" and you can download the step-out at HERE. There is also a video link there and Dawn also has a video for this pattern HERE. I embellished mine a little differently than shown on the pattern.

This card stock color is called "Grocer Kraft". It's slightly rough like the "Concrete". I love how colored pencils look on this paper. It makes the colors look very bright. "Loop" is from and you can download the pattern HERE. HERE is a link to a YouTube tutorial for drawing "Loop".

This pale gray card stock is called "Stone" and it has a super smooth finish. I found the "Snowcone" tangle pattern at HERE. This is such a crazy design but I love it and it's really fun to draw. I think it's the addition of color that makes it so fun.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Today's Tangles

I thought I do a leafy/floral theme for today's tangle designs. "Euca" is by Anne Marks and you'll find her step-out HERE on her blog.

"Podz" is by Nancy Newlin and you can get the pattern at Tangle Patterns HERE. Just for fun, I drew mine without the borders around the flowers.

You'll find Melinda Barlow's "Nymph" pattern at HERE. You'll also find links to Melinda's video tutorial as well as two other videos. Although I used a grid to draw mine, I erased the pencil lines when I was done.

Nicole Dreyer likes to design quirky tangles. I probably wouldn't have noticed "Splashies" if I hadn't watched Melinda Barlow's video about it. You see, it wasn't meant to be a floral tangle. I think they are splashing droplets of water. I like Melinda's idea of turning them into flowers and that's the way I drew mine too. The step-out is HERE at Watch Melinda's video HERE.

I found the "Undergrowth" pattern HERE on Judy West's Creative Doodling blog. It would make a wonderful filler or embellishment. I love it, especially with a hint of color added.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Tangles for Monday

All but the last tangle for today are from "Aline Leaf" is by YuRu-Chen and the pattern can be found HERE. This one is very simple to draw but it is a little plain without the addition of color.

Dörte Seupel-Kör's "Auwacka Too" is also found on Besides the step-out, there is a video link and quite a few example images HERE.

You'll find the "Elfhat" step-out HERE as well as a couple of YouTube videos. This tangle is also by YuRu-Chen. I love how the colors pop on the dark paper that I used. They look fluorescent but they're not even super bright colors.

"Frunky" is by Katharina Königsbauer-Kolb. You can find the step-out HERE at and also at Katharina's blog HERE. I'm not sure why my scanner made the aqua on the "frunkies" look so spotty.

"NUXY" is by Veena Arun and you can find the step-out on her KNOT Brat blog HERE. NUXY is similar to the "Jash" tangle pattern that I blogged about HERE.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Buta Earrings - Lila Vega


  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • ZoliDuo beads "Alabaster Lila Vega"
  • 3mm druks "Opaque Amethyst Luster"
  • 4mm fire polished beads "Opaque Amethyst Luster"
  • 3mm bicones "Purple AB" (China)

These are the pretty earrings that I mentioned HERE in yesterday's post. I found a way to make them come out flat by using 15/0 seed beads instead of 11/0 beads on either side of the 4mm fire polished beads. You might not need to do that though. It will depend on the sizes of the beads that you use. I haven't tried to make these with Toho seed beads but I think they might cause warping problems and I know that Sam uses Miyuki beads.

One other thing that I changed was that I used bicones in a different size than called for. They don't really have an effect on how the beads fit together though because of the way they sit between the ZoliDuos. I tried 4mm bicones but they looked too bulky in the space. Having said that, Swarovski 4mm bicones might fit fine and 3mm Swarovski bicones might actually be too small. I used Chinese crystals which tend to be larger. In any case, the ones I used fit perfectly and I like how they look.

You can buy Sam Wescott's "Buta Bracelet & Earrings" pattern in her Etsy shop HERE. If you're wondering how Sam came up with the pattern's name, she explains it HERE on her blog. Or, do a quick Google image search for "buta" and you'll instantly understand why she chose the name.

Queen City Bead on Etsy has ZoliDuos and everything in the shop is on sale through Wednesday, October 18th. Also, with the coupon code "Bead10" my blog readers get an additional 10% off.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Playing with my beads...ZoliDuo beads

  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457)
  • ZoliDuo beads "Alabaster Blue Luster"
  • ZoliDuo beads "Alabaster Lila Vega"
  • IrisDuo beads "White Lila Vega Luster"

I saw Akke Jonkhof's gorgeous "For Your Eyes Only" bracelet pattern in her Etsy shop, HERE, and decided to give it a try.
Although this looks like a complete bracelet, it came out horribly warped so I have taken it apart. I should mention that I wasn't actually following the pattern even though my bracelet does look pretty much like Akke's photos. I didn't connect the motifs the same way she did with hers. My motifs were so wonky that I just did the quickest thing I could think of to connect them so that I could take some photos. 

You see, I wasn't really keen on the new ZoliDuo beads until I saw Akke's pattern and another one that I thought were pretty enough to tempt me to give them a try. The other pattern that caught my eye is a bracelet and earrings pattern by Sam Wescott which you can see in her Etsy shop HERE. I have Sam's pattern but I'm having some trouble getting my earrings to lay flat. I will blog about them as soon as I have some completed earrings to take photos of.

ZoliDuos are funny beads to work with because they come in left and right facing beads. Sam gave me a tip for remembering which is which. When they are right side up (they are flat on the back and rounded on the front), with the bulgy end at the bottom and the skinny end at the top, a left-facing bead will look kind of like the letter "L", so think "L" for "Left". The right-facing beads form a backward "L".

I don't have a lot of experience with them yet but my impression is that they can be fussy to work with in relation to other types of beads. After I took apart my first bracelet attempt, I decided to try a completely different thread path. This time I was successful but it resulted in a smaller bracelet and I don't have enough ZoliDuos to make one that is long enough to fit me. That's why both of my examples have a purple motif in the center. I only bought 20 left and right ZoliDuos in each color. That would have been exactly enough for a five motif bracelet except that I got a broken bead which left me short by one. The moral of that story is to make sure that you buy more beads than you'll need for your project in case of broken beads or plugged up holes.

Below are a couple of photos of the sample bracelet that came out flat instead of warped. I also connected the motifs the way that Akke did hers. The only thing that I changed from Akke's pattern was to add seed beads between the IrisDuos to cover the thread. I didn't bother to attach a clasp because it's too short to go around my wrist.

Queen City Bead on Etsy has ZoliDuos as well as IrisDuos and everything in the shop is on sale through Wednesday, October 18th. Also, with the coupon code "Bead10" my blog readers get an additional 10% off.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bracelet of the Day: Mini Bridges - Ruby Luster

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • Mini Silky beads "Chalk Red Luster"
  • 2mm Czech pearls "Antique Ivory"
  • MiniDuo beads "Ruby Luster"

In THIS post on Tuesday, I showed you some "Mini Bridges Bracelet" samples including two in this colorway. I did make some changes when I made today's bracelet. I switched from Toho seed beads to Miyuki beads and I made a small tweak to the pattern instructions so that I could do so. In the steps where you are told to pick up two 15/0 seed beads near the Mini Silky beads, I picked up three beads. Later, when adding the MiniDuos, I went through the middle bead in each trio of seed beads. Doing this created a little more space between the pearls and the Silky beads. It also allowed me to use 11/0 seed beads between the motifs even though the Miyuki seed beads are so much smaller than the recommended Toho beads.

Because you'll be using lots of tiny 2mm beads and 15/0 seed beads to make this bracelet, make sure that you use either 6 pound Fireline or Nymo B thread. You'll also need to use a size 12 beading needle. Even though I did this, I had to start over once while making this bracelet because one of the tiny pearls exploded when I tried to get my needle through it. I rarely have an issue with beads breaking so it took me by surprise when it happened.

You can buy Claire's "Mini Bridges Bracelet" HERE. When you buy this pattern, you'll also get a copy of her regular "Bridges Bracelet" pattern.

Baubles & Beads

The owners of Baubles & Beads are retiring and they're in the process of selling out their stock of beads and supplies. Everything is 50% off so click HERE for some great deals.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Playing with my beads...Mini Bridges Bracelet samples

Claire, from Supply Emporium, has come up with a way to make her "Bridges Bracelet" with Mini Silky beads and MiniDuos. If you buy her pattern, you get both versions for one price HERE. I blogged about the original "Bridges Bracelet" HERE, HERE and HERE. I got a few colors of Mini Silky beads back when they first came out but I've been kind of stumped for ideas to make with them. Claire's bracelet is a great way to use them.

  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Antique Bronze" (223)
  • Mini Silky beads "Chalk Red Luster"
  • 2mm Czech pearls "Antique Ivory"
  • MiniDuo beads "Ruby Luster"

I made two samples in this colorway because of an issue that I ran into while making the top sample. The instructions call for 11/0 seed beads between each motif. Although you can't tell in the photo, this caused the sample to warp. I made the second sample with 15/0 beads between the motifs and that one is nice and flat. It turns out the beads you're using can make a difference. You'll just have to try it with 11/0 beads first and see how that goes. If the stitching warps, use 15/0 seed beads instead. Of my four colorway samples, I was only able to use 11/0 beads in one of them.

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Hematite Green Iris aka Metallic Green" (453)
  • Mini Silky beads "Green Luster"
  • 2mm druks "Hematite"
  • MiniDuo beads "Metallic Suede Light Green"

  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Gold Lustered Light Tanzanite" (325)
  • 11/0 seed beads Toho "Gold Lustered Light Tanzanite" (325)
  • Mini Silky beads "Purple Vega"
  • 2mm fire polished beads "Iris Milky Amethyst"
  • MiniDuo beads "Chalk Vega aka Amethyst Luster"

Besides the pink one above, this sample is the only other one that I used 11/0 seed beads between the motifs. I actually tried it first with 15/0 beads but it came out too wonky.

  • 15/0 seed beads Toho "Nickel Plated" (711)
  • Mini Silky beads "Green Turquoise"
  • 2mm fire polished beads "Jet"
  • MiniDuo beads "Jet"