I was able to find the pattern online but there was no way that I could afford to buy 3mm Swarovski bicones, especially since the bracelet required at least 100 of them. I didn't know of any place that sold 3mm Chinese bicones at the time so my plan was to go up a size on all of the beads and make a much larger scale bracelet using 4mm bicones, which are cheap and readily available. I made a sample and was very please with the results. That was many, many months ago and I never got around to making a final version of the bracelet.
Just in the past couple of months, I found a few colors of 3mm Chinese bicones at Beadoholique in their Chinavoski bin. I also learned through Dolly Smith that there are a couple of Chinese shops on eBay selling one hundred 3mm bicones for a dollar directly from China with free shipping. I ordered a few colors from each shop and then waited two or three weeks for them to get here. I've now got a pretty nice stash of them in a variety of pretty colors.
So, today I dug out the bracelet pattern and decided to make a sample using the bead sizes called for by the pattern and I'm very happy that I can make the bracelet in the original size. I still love the larger one, and will eventually make one for myself, but I think I will make the smaller one first.
It looks like that special issue of the magazine is no longer available for sale but there's a free version of the same pattern that goes by the name "Plum Blossom Bracelet". You can download the pattern HERE. You can find free copies of the magazine if you search for them but I'm hesitant to post links to them because I don't know if they're infringing on any copyrights and I don't know if any of those sites might include malicious or virus infected add-on files. Download them at your own risk. In any case, the "Plum Blossom" pattern is identical and free.
One major thing that I changed was that I made mine with just one needle even though the pattern says to work it on two needles. I did try that with my first sample and found it very awkward to do with this pattern and the beadwork didn't seem to want to hold together very well done that way. I think this one is much easier to do with one needle. I just made the first row of diamonds and then attached the second row to the first row as I worked it going back in the opposite direction. I made my samples using thick Nymo D thread and ran into a few spots where I could barely get my needle through so you definitely need to use either Nymo B or FireLine with this pattern.
Here is a photo of both of my samples for comparison. Of course they will look much better once I make them with thin black thread instead of the thick tan thread that I used here.
Red Sample (1-inch wide):
- 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (11-457D)
- 4mm bicones "Siam - #C44" (Beads One)
- 6mm pearls "Antique Brass - #13"(Beads One)
- 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
- 3mm bicones "Green AB - #212" (China - eBay)
- 4mm druks "Bronze"
And, this is the photo from the magazine PDF file:
Update: I was just counting to see how many 3mm bicones I used in my sample bracelet and I used 116 of them. That means that they sent me MORE than 100. I counted the bicones that are left in the bag and added them to what I used in the bracelet and they sent me 152 bicones even though they say you get 100. I can't say for sure that I got that many of each of the colors that I ordered from China, but it does look like there's about the same amount in each little bag. I've got too much beading to do to take the time to count them all!