I love how the 'scales' look. They remind me of the 'Horny Toads (aka Horned Toad Lizard') that I used to play with as a kid in Arizona. They are full of spikes and 'spit blood'. In our young minds they weren't lizards - they were ancient dinosaurs or medieval dragons. So when I saw the awesome spikey Dragon Bangle by Nancy Jones in the February/March issue of Beadwork magazine it really jumped off the page. Link: http://www.interweavestore.com/Beading-Jewelry/Magazines/Super-Beadwork-February-March-2011.html
About the same time Cindy of Cindy's Crafts http://www.beadlady.biz/ mentioned that someone she knew was having a bit of a problem getting the scales right, so I dug out my beads and Beadwork magazine and sat down to play a little.
The bangle uses the new Miyuki Magatama Long 4 x 7 drop beads for the scales. Their unique design gives a super 3D affect to the dragon scales which I absolutely love. Kudos to Nancy Jones for creating this awesome medieval looking design.
So far, I've only done about an inch of this great little design. I got side tracked and haven't been able to get back to it. I might leave it just the way it is because it makes the coolest medieval looking ring!
All inquiries about the Dragon Bangle should be directed to Nancy Jones through Beadwork Magazine (link above).
Long Magatamas Are Directional Beads.
Working Nancy's design was the first time I'd ever used the long magatamas and I quickly realized that the they are directional. They definately have a 'top side' and a 'bottom side'. If you string the bead the wrong way it doesn't sit right and the mis-strung bead will slant upwards instead of flowing downwards with the other beads.
While I was working with these beautiful beads I noticed how much they reminded me of horse's hooves. As you can see in the picture below, the non-hole end of the bead slants downward just like a horse's hoof.
Take a close look at the picture below. You can see that the bead on the left slants downward on the non-hole end and the bead on the right slants upward on the non-hole end. So make sure that you pick up your beads from the correct side. Just for reference, I labled them top side (bead on the left) and bottom side (bead on the right). It helped me keep the beads going in the right direction.
When working brick stitch (except for the base or ladder stitch row) the needle enters from the top of the bead, passes under the next 'thread bridge' on the beadwork and then passes back up through the bottom of the bead. I laid out my beads with the topside facing up (horse hoof facing me) so they would be ready to pick up with my needle. See the picture below.
Here's another view:
See how the beads look like little horse's hooves, or little shoes. Sooo cute!
I got my beads from Cindy, http://www.beadlady.biz/beads.html
The color that I used in this sample is one of my favorites: LMA-2144. I also have black and matte black AB which I can't wait to play with.
Here's a picture of picking up an LM bead from the BOTTOM. Notice that the 'horse hoof' end is slanting downward on the left.
Hope this helps someone get a Long Magatama brick stitch base row started.