Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Elusive Dragon - Pattern Review-Nancy Jones

This elusive Dragon is a complete understatement to be sure.  Dragon Bangle was published in the Feb/Mar issue of Beadwork.  First let me tell you I LOVE the look of this bracelet.  I love the feel of the beads and the funkiness of it.  I really love the colors I finally choose.  I totally and completely HATED making it.  The problem with making this bracelet was all on the beader NOT the designer.  Nancy's pattern was easy to follow and her instructions very clear for a magazine published pattern.  Her design concept is awesome for those of us who like a little funk in their jewelry.  This is one of those that someone sees and says "WOW that is interesting, I think I like it"

This beader is the total problem with this review.  I have mentioned before that I have tension issues.  I have remade this 4 times.  I was not real proficient in brick stitch before I attempted this and should have known a bit more.  First I was frustrated with getting the first few rows to stay stable and continued with that tension through the first 12 rows of the piece.  I had chosen a purple size 8 seed thinking it would work HOWEVER they were not uniform and that makes such a difference so I ripped it out.  I didn't have another purple that I liked so I attempted to make it with size 11's but they made the piece too loose for my liking (which she did mention you could try and that it would be a bit looser) so again I ripped it out.  I finally bit the bullet so to speak and purchased the perfect toho size 8's at Bello Modo and began again.  I attempted a looser tension but as I got about half way through I realized the threads were showing and I really can't stand that.  Okay so obviously I had to put it down for a bit and work on a few other projects to make sure when I picked it up again I would have a fresh out look because let me tell you we had quite a few arguments with each other and it was not pretty at all!

Fresh outlook, medium tension, perfect beads I am ready to start it again.  I went along beautifully and I finally was enjoying the beads and pattern.  Time to zip it up...Wow that was great.  Here is my Sea Dragon....

It feels awesome.  It is not hard like you think it would be and well I would love to tell you how it wears but you still see the thread don't you.  Well once again the beader *&%$ed it up!  I am 13 beads short.  Yes this little dragon is just that little and I am out of beads and frankly I am not seeing any possibility in the near future of getting any more of these magatama drops any time soon.  What a bummer!

So what do I think of Nancy's design.  Well first I still LOVE it!  That is what sucks about not being able to wear it.  I do not think a beginner should try it before having done brick stitch before but I do recommend it.  Her instructions are clear her design is unique and I would love to see more of her!  So Thank you Nancy but this dragon is eluding this beader I wish I could have done your pattern better.

Hugs and Blessings

PS I have had 2 field trips this week so I hope to catch up with you all tomorrow.  I hope you are all having a good week so far.


  1. This is totally on my to do list too, but I'm 99.8% sure I haven't got enough long magatamas either. And as soon as I saw the pattern I was kicking myself for not getting more of them last time I was in Spokane. When I attempt it, I might have to add a clasp to make up for the delinquent magatamas...

  2. This looks great! I am enjoying your pattern reviews. (I cracked up too when I read "I have tension issues" and thought so do I...just not always with beads! LOL)

  3. Me three-- tension issues!! LOL!! I Love the look of the piece. Great review Kristen!

  4. Make that 4 on the tension issues! The bracelet looks amazing!

  5. This is just beautiful, Kristen! Surely you could stick some other beads in there and call it a design feature! HA! I'm going to try to reach you tomorrow. Surgery is Tuesday. Yikes.

  6. It's a great pattern and I can totally relate to the bead issue. Not all beads are created equally and some seed beads are very irregular in their size and shapes (I must have a couple of POUNDS of them in my bead stash). As for the tension problem ... well sometimes the beads are the problem. :D

    marsspyder made a comment that might help you salvage all of your hard work and time (yeah, talk about "instant gratification" ... NOT! ... lol) . Perhaps by adding some type of clasp at the ends you could end up with a lovely and wearable, finished Dragon bracelet ?

  7. Crap Kristen, I was stalking your blog and just saw this review on the dragon bracelet! This looks awesome!!! Did you ever remake it??? Those colors are gorgeous, would you mind telling me the color of the mags??? That is the perfect color for something else I am making. Love it!

  8. Hello! Just started following you recently and had to comment on the Elusive, Infamous Dragon Bangle!! I LOVE the colors you have chosen for this!! And I agree, if you can't get more of the magatamas I would try to add a clasp of some sort. The pattern called for 28 grams but I used approximately 32 grams in mine and it *just* fit over my hand.. but I do have big hands too...
    I love your blog!!

  9. Christine hopefully you will see this comment! Send me your e-mail I would LOVE to chat further with you?!!!!!!


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