Friday, June 12, 2015

Bracelet of the Day: Silky Diamonds Bracelet

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Dark Bronze" (457D)
  • Silky beads "Alabaster Lazure Blue"
  • 3mm druks "Bronze"

This pattern by designer Connie Whittaker is from the June 2015 issue of "Bead & Button Magazine". If you don't have a subscription, you can buy this issue HERE. There will also be a kit available from the Jewelry & Beading store HERE.

UPDATE (7/28/16): I just ran across a video tutorial for this pattern HERE.

I'm always on the lookout for patterns to make with Silky beads and this one is just my style. However, I ran into some problems with the pattern as written. The main Silky motifs came out very nice but the seed bead connections between them gave me fits. They wouldn't stay put and kept flipping sideways instead of sticking up and they caused the bracelet to curve. I tried quite a few different alternative connection ideas finally came up with something super simple that works very well. I think that this solution also enhances the look of the bracelet. Instead of two groups of three 15/0 seed beads between each Silky bead, I replace each trio of beads with a 3mm druk. As you can see in my bracelet above, it works perfectly.

Here is a photo of some of my experiments before I thought of using druks:

The two samples in the bottom row were made according to the pattern directions. I think that the Silkies look too crowded with those wonky seed beads between them and you can see how curved the green sample is.

The middle sample shows some of my connection experiments but I didn't like any of them. 

The top sample shows how it would look with the Silky motifs turned vertically instead of horizontally. I really like how that sample turned out and I will probably make a bracelet like that sometime. I'm going to call it "Silky Cameo Bracelet" because the motifs look like a bit like cameos to me.

  • 15/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 11/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Light Bronze" (457L)
  • Silky beads "Alexandrite Blue Luster" and "Jade Picasso"
  • 3mm Czech pearls "Antique Gold"

Anyway, I'm glad that I thought of putting druks between the motifs. Above is my first sample made with this technique.

I love the feel of this bracelet. It's not heavy but it has some "body" because of the thickness of the Silkies. If you don't pull the druks too tight against the Silky beads, the bracelet also has some flexibility and movement. What really make the design special are the seed bead "chains" crossing over each Silky. If you recall, Teejay's "Mary Ann Bracelet" has the same Silky bead embellishment but with five 15/0 seed beads in each chain instead of four. You can read about the free "Mary Ann Bracelet" pattern HERE. As far as I know, Teejay was the first to come up with that idea because I hadn't seen it anywhere else and the magazine came out after her pattern was posted on my blog. Of course the magazine article was written long before but neither Connie nor Teejay would have been aware that the other had come up with that idea. Great minds do think alike, as they say.

TIP: It's not mentioned in the pattern but you'll need about 4 yards of thread for this bracelet. I started mine with 3 yards and had to add thread.


  1. I love the version where the beads look like cameos! I'd love to make a bracelet like that! I saw that pattern but thought it contained too many silky beads. Never thought about the connections but you are right. And I don't think the connection is as secure as the one with the Mary Ann bracelet.Great minds! As you say! Did you see Deb Roberti's latest necklace pattern? She is using the 3 motif idea that I have been using with the Mary Ann bracelet. More great minds! lol

    1. I may write up a tutorial for the "cameo" bracelet when I have a chance and before I forget how I did it. There is one little issue with that one though. You really need to use Silkies that are shaped so that the "chains" of 15/0 beads stay put and don't slide off. I'm finding that very few colors are like that. They seem to mostly be the "alabaster" finish ones and not the "table cut" kind or the transparent shiny kind. The transparent Silkies seem to be very glossy and rounded which causes the beads to slide off the edge.

      Yes, I saw Deb's new necklace pattern last night and it's very pretty. Right away your photo came to mind when I saw it.

  2. I know what you mean about the shiny ones being slippery. Most of mine are the table-cut variety. I may try to make the cameo design on my own, too.

  3. I was wrong-mine are shiny! But I was able to make a pair of earrings that didn't have slippery parts. Of course, this is a great deal like the Mary Ann bracelet motif, simplified. But I do like it a lot.