Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dragon Bangle Bracelet From Beadwork Magazine (Feb/Mar 2011)

I rarely make anyone else's design but Dragon Bangle really caught my eye!

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:

About the same time Cindy of Cindy's Crafts 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, 
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. 



Gypsy said...

That looks like a grape bunch, Barb!
Thanks for mentioning my blog here! There is a widget that allows recent uploads of blogs, so folks can see a thumbnail of it. Check out on mine...and if you add 'Followers' to your widgets, then folks can click to follow you and the thumbnail appears on theirs, letting them know you have something cool to read!
Congrats on posting! Life is good!

Barb said...

Thanks for the info. I'll try to figure it out. :)

I just added some more information about working with the Long Magatama beads to the bottom of the post.


Eva Maria Keiser said...

Brillant your work!
- Eva Maria

Barb said...

Thank you so much for your kind words Eva. I apologise for taking so long to answer. I always forget about the comments feature.

Releases by Rufydoof said...

Thanks for this post... I have just started making this bangle and had no end of trouble with it. As silly as it sounds I didn't even pay much attention to the way the magatama beads sat until I read your helped a LOT! I am now up to row 14 and can thankfully continue making this gorgeous bangle now.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post! This helped me a lot!!!!!!
Thanks to you I'am on the right way to make this bangle!
Regards from Belgium, Nancy.

Lisa said...

I have at last managed to get about 15 rows done of this bracelet, however it has no form and it all "floppy"....I am sure it shouldn't be...any pointers before I continue or should I start again?

BetteLG said...

I've taken mine apart 6 times and am so frustrated it isn't funny. I sooo wish the pattern in the magazine had more direction and photos..

Tried to contact Nancy by email and phone and nothing yet :(

js22 said...

My friend just bought a book that had this pattern in it. I subscribe to the magazine and had attempted to make the bracelet after I got it. I probably got an inch done and it was so floppy I gave up. The next time I had a project with the long Magatama beads, it didn't go well. I took all my long magatama beads and put them in a separate box and labeled them 'bad beads!'
Well, my friend sent me pictures of the bracelet she started to make and it really looks good! She said "when i did the dragon scale it kept flipping around, so i did 2 rows of just 8 then added the bad beads."
When I locate my magazine, I'll have to try this again!

bob shnitzle said...

Hi, I tried to make my own dragon bangle but the instructions from the magazine says to use 6' (which is six feet right?) but i'm only getting about half way done. Am i doing something wrong, I'm pretty sure my stitches are good, or is this a misprint?

bob shnitzle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SPED Roe said...

To Bob S - it says to start with a 6 foot length of have to add on when you run's easy to do. I think using 12' would be way too tangly!
The first 2 rows take patience but it's well worth the effort.
Good Luck!