Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Playing with my beads...Diamonds and Pearls Bracelet

Way back when I was just a beading beginner, I saw this bracelet on display in a local bead shop. It was on my very first visit to Spring Beads in Old Town Spring. They have a wall display of sample projects for the classes that they teach there. I was drawn to this extremely delicate little crystal bracelet made with unbelievably tiny 3mm bicones and 15/0 seed beads. The shop owner told me that the class was taught by, and the bracelet pattern created by, Janice Chatham, who just happens to live here in the Houston area. Her pattern was published in Bead & Button's "The Beader's Handbook 2" (published in 2010).

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)
Green Sample (3/4-inch wide):
  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (15-457D)
  • 3mm bicones "Green AB - #212" (China - eBay)
  • 4mm druks "Bronze"
 I found a couple of photos of this bracelet on THIS blog. Below is the photo that Spring Beads used to have posted on their class calendar online:
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!
 

17 comments:

  1. ohhhh that teeny one is delicious .....guess who.

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  2. What an insanely gorgeous bracelet! You did such a great job! Can you email me which ebay seller you bought from? I use 3mm crystals a lot but, as you say, they are very difficult to find, and so expensive. This is one of your finest creations.

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    1. I just sent you an email, Jeanie, with the links. However, if you hold your cursor over the words "3mm bicones "Green AB - #212" (China - eBay)" above, that last bit links to the shop where I got those bicones.

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  3. Hello Linda...Linda from Georgia...This is just beautiful :) Yes beading is getting expensive! If you are lucky you can get some 3mm crystal bicones in the strung crystals at Hobby Lobby and Joann mostly in black and crystal ab I know "Off the beaded path" ETSY has Thunder Polish I think they are from China at a good price but shipping can bite. Kelly is having a one day sale on July 26. I have spent so much on beads of late I have to back off for a while :( I have a stressful job and do not watch much TV so beading helps me relax so much plus I love wearing my jewelry! I have to shop around and try to find the best deals. Thanks for all you do! Have a nice Fourth of July.....

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    1. Hi Linda. The 3mm bicones that I found locally are usually around $3.79 per strand and I think you get around 100. I waited until they were on sale for 20% off though. At least I did before I found out about the Chinese ones on eBay for only a buck and no shipping or sales tax. I only bought a small quantity from each shop to make sure they were going to be good enough and they are fine for my needs. I think you can tell that they're not Swarovski but that doesn't bother me as long as they're pretty and sparkly.

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  4. Hi Linda. You said you bought your 3mm Chinese bicones from China on Ebay. As there are literally hundreds of these listed on Ebay, could you share the specific store where you purchased them? If they are good enough for you, I know they will be fine for me! Thanks....you can email me at vjclemente@yahoo.com as I don't know any other way for you to send it. By the way, I love the patterns. Beautiful work ! Valerie

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    1. I bought the bicones that I used in my green sample, here: http://tinyurl.com/lrto7w6

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  5. Hi Linda, thank you for the link to the Chinee bicones, they look great and the link to the pattern. I have an other question, where did you bought the druk beats. I can't seem to find them here in the Netherlands and I would love to make this bracelet

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    1. Hi Estelle. I get my druks from a few different sources but I don't know if any of them ship to the Netherlands. You might try searching Etsy. I've seen lot of them for sale there. These are some places where I get them:

      Artbeads.com - http://tinyurl.com/nutkypz
      Beadaholique -http://tinyurl.com/q3owu4r
      Aura Crystals on eBay - http://tinyurl.com/oel7djg
      Red Panda - http://tinyurl.com/q2ngvrl
      Robin's Beads (UK) - http://tinyurl.com/nhe6cbv

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    2. Thank you Linda, I'm going to shop some on line this weekend :)

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  6. Hi Linda, this is my first time to comment on a blog and I hope I'm doing this correctly. I saw a bracelet that i thought I saw on one of your blogs. Its called Faded Denim b Connie Wyhittaker. And I thought that you provided directions or a link on how to make it using a free pattern.. Am I totally in the wrong on this?

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    1. It wasn't here. I've never heard of it but it sounds interesting. I guess I will Google it...

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    2. You can buy the Faded Denim pattern for $3.95 here:

      http://www.kalmbachstore.com/bbpdf131021.html

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  7. Do you have any free directions for how to make the Faded Denim bracelet by Connie Whittaker.

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  8. Hi Linda. Thank you so much for giving us the China link. I looked at it to order and wonder how do I know which color goes with the designation? On my laptop, looking at the page of actual bicons, there is nothing to tell me which designation is the deep blue bicon etc. Thanks

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    1. Hi. Which Chinese eBay site did you go to? I don't see any links in this post and I've bought bicones from more than one.

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  9. Hi Linds,
    You camn buy 3mm sw crystals from amazon,100 for 7.89 some are 4.99 for 100 pieces.

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