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DIY Tutorials/Design Inspirations: Chainmaille Jewelry, Lace Crown, Statement Necklace, Paper Rose, and Origami Butterfly

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.

Here are several jewelry-making and other DIY tutorials that caught my eyes a few weeks ago.  The end results look striking; but, none of these pieces is difficult to make.

diy tutorial blue buddha boutique chainmaille necklace chain maille jewelry chainmail jewellery

Geometric Chainmaille Bib Necklace
I love the design of this necklace. I’m planning to make one for myself.
I might use larger jump rings and modify the design a bit.
To learn how to make it, please visit Blue Buddha Boutique’s Free and Easy Jewelry Projects page

DIY-Tutorial-Project-How-To-Make-Ombre-Necklace-Pistachio-Shells-Paint

Ombre Pistachio Shells Necklace by Creme de la Craft
I don’t know how durable this necklace is, but it looks striking.
I’m considering to use painted false nails instead . . .

diy-tutorial-glitter-lace-crown-hwtm

Glitter Lace Crown by HWTM
I want to make a taller, black, and non-glittery version of this crown.
Might look awesome on photos.

Paper Rose Prima Layout diy tutorial by stacy cohen

Paper Rose Flower tutorial by Stacy Cohen
Pretty, aren’t they?
I’m thinking about making a bigger  version of these paper roses by drawing the petals freehand instead of using the paper punches.

Butterfly Origami Tutorial

Swallowtail Butterfly Origami by Origami Spirit
Might look wonderful as hair accessory

None of these tutorials are written by me. I don't own these images either. So, if you are the owner of these images and you don't want to see them on this blog, please let me know. I wouldn't mind removing them from this page.

No advertisement that might show up below this line is endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade

DIY Tutorial + FREE Pattern: Beaded and Embroidered Holly Headband

angelica-brigade_christmas-headband_2

(You can find the list of materials I used to create this headband at the bottom of this page)

Download the free pattern here and copy the pattern onto your beading foundation

The techniques I used to create this headband is exactly the same with the techniques I used to create the Christmas Ornament (last week’s free tutorial). For more details and step-by-step photos, please visit that blog post.

angelica-brigade_christmas-headband_pattern

  1. Follow the above diagram and satin stitch the leaves and berries using DMC Cotton Perle #5
  2. You can satin stitch the white parts seen on the diagram . . . or . . . bead them with size #8 seed beads (I used nickle-plated seed beads).
  3. Bead the outlines using fire-polished beads in similar colors. (I like to put a few accent beads to make the piece looks more interesting).
  4. Cut the piece 1/16” (or 1.5 mm) outside of the outermost edges of the piece.
  5. Glue the piece onto either a piece of flannel or ultrasuede. Wait till the glue is completely dried.
  6. Using size #8 seed beads in similar colors, bead the edges with “clean edge finishing” (the technique seen in #14-17 of that webpage)
  7. Pass through these beads 3 or more times to make sure they won’t unravel.
  8. Attach the finished piece onto a piece of comb &/or headband.

This time, I decided to make my own headband.

  • The technique I used to create the headband: Right Angle weave. (I usually stitch through the same beads 2x)
  • Make small loops at either ends of the headband that fit the elastic or ribbon to fasten the headband with
  • The beads I used to create the main part of the headband: 4mm fire polished beads
  • I filled the gaps between the beads with size #6 seed beads

—————————————————————————————————————–

Materials:

  • Pattern
  • Beading foundation: (a stiffened felt or Lacy’s Stiff Stuff)
  • DMC Cotton Perle in bright green, slightly lighter green, bright red, and dark red
  • Embroidery needle size #1
  • 3mm fire-polished beads in green and red
  • Size #8 seed beads in green and red
  • Beading thread (I use Nymo size O in green and red)
  • Beading needle size #12
  • Felt or ultrasuede
  • Glue
  • Pen, scissors

Optional:

  • If you want to bead the leaves with accent colors: Size #8 nickle plated seed beads (see below)
  • If you want to make your own beadwork headband:
        • 4mm fire polished beads in green and red
        • #6 seed beads in green and red
        • Fireline 6 lbs. test in smoke
        • Elastic or ribbon

—————————————————————————————————————–

Feel free to reproduce this headband for commercial purposes, BUT:

  1. On your product description, please write: “Original design by Joyce at www.angelica-brigade.com
  2. Since I won’t be the person who create the piece you’ll sell in your shop . . . To avoid possible misunderstandings . . . Please use your own images to market your version(s) of this headband

If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact me by writing a comment on the reply box below. (Don’t worry if you don’t see your message on this page right away)

Alternately, you can also contact me via Facebook

—————————————————————————————————————–

Any ad that shows up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade

Free DIY Tutorial : Christmas Ornament / Bag Charm

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.
diy-christmas-ornament-bag-charm_free-tutorial_by-angelicabrigade_angelica-brigade_beads-embroidery- beadembroidery_001

Bag Charm/Ornament: Joyce @ Angelica Brigade
Nails: Illamasqua rubber finish nail varnish in Nurture

Supplies:

Techniques:

Step One:
Trace the pattern onto the stiffened felt and then cut the pattern with 1/8″ (3 mm) seam allowance

(Steps two & three: Please refer to Figure 1 for reference)
Step Two:
“Color” the design using satin stitch
Use the #5 embroidery floss with #1 embroidery needle

figure 1

figure 1

Step Three:
Bead the outline of the design using 3mm fire-polished beads
Start from the middle
Bead the edges last

Step Four:
Cut approx. 4″ of grosgrain ribbon and fold it in half
Stitch the ribbon onto the back  side of the piece
diy-christmas-ornament-bag-charm_free-tutorial_by-angelicabrigade_angelica-brigade_beads-embroidery- beadembroidery_attaching-loop

Step Five:
Lazy stitch the #11 cylinder beads on the upper part of the design
(the empty spot I marked on Figure 1)

Step Six:
Trim the excess stiffened felt
Try to match the edges of the stiffened felt with the outermost edges of the fire-polished beads
While cutting the felt, keep your scissors perpendicular to the floor
And, be careful not to cut the tread with which you beaded the piece

Step Seven
If you want to use it as a Christmas tree ornament, you might want to repeat Steps 1-3 and 5-6
and glue the identical pieces back to back
– or –
You can glue it onto a piece of felt or ultrasuede
(Note: The quality and thickness of the felt or ultrasuede matters as the glue might seep through and stain thinner fabrics)

USEFUL TIP: If you decide to glue it onto a piece of felt or ultrasuede . . . Lining the top edge of the beaded ornament with a straight edge of the felt can make the trimming process much easier

USEFUL TIP:
If you decide to glue it onto a piece of felt or ultrasuede
Lining the top edge of the beaded ornament with a straight edge of the felt can make the trimming process much easier

Step Seven:
Bead the outermost edge of the design using #6 round seed beads
Use clean edge finishing technique <— the technique seen in #14-17 of that page

Step Eight:
Make a bow using using 10″ grosgrain ribbon
Dab a dot of hot-melt glue on the back of the ribbon and stick it onto the design
Tips:
Prewashing this ribbon can prevent it from fraying
But, if I use craft-store-bought ribbon, I usually melt its ends with candle flame
(If you decide to do the same, please proceed with caution)

Step Nine:
Using a jump ring or split ring, connect the swivel clip onto the loop of ribbon on the top part of the ornament.

Feel free to reproduce this ornament/bag charm for commercial purposes, BUT:
On your product description, please write: Original design by Joyce at www.angelica-brigade.com
&
Since I won’t be the person who create the piece you’ll sell in your shop . . . To avoid possible misunderstandings . . . Please use your own images to market your version(s) of this ornament/bag charm

If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact me by writing a comment on the reply box below. (Don’t worry if you don’t see your message on this page right away)

Alternately, you can also contact me via Facebook

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  –

This upcoming Sunday:
Failed! And learned (a lot!!) from that failure – A misadventure in designing a hair accessory

Next Wednesday:
Free Tutorial: Christmas-Themed Hair Accessory

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  –

Any ad that shows up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade

Creativity & Failure : A Stepping Stone to Success, A Part of the Process, etc, etc.

“Every act of creation
is first an act of destruction. ”

-Pablo Picasso

No one can create something out of nothing. And so, to come up with magnificent things, inventors & designers (re-)mix, (re-)arrange & present some pre-existing things in some new ways.

That’s pretty much what I do …

My design process is always lead by series of “what-ifs” . . .  such as:

  • I made this one using 14 gauge jump rings, what if I use 16 gauge jump rings instead?
  • I made the original piece using Swarovski crystals, what if I use the much shinier, multicolored, & multifaceted Czech fire-polished beads instead?
  • What if I make the bracelet an inch wider?
  • What if I create some star-shaped focal points and bead the rest of the bracelet using smaller beads instead? And so on … )

But, there are times when things don’t work out so well. I’ve been trying to make this bracelet to look better by adding more & more beads … but, it doesn’t seem to work. It still looks like a chunk of charred jewelry instead. And, I don’t like it.

[ Me no Likey ] I've been spending many hours trying to make this bracelet to look better by adding different kinds of beads onto it

[ Me no Likey ] I’ve been spending many hours trying to make this bracelet to look better by adding different kinds of beads onto it

The piece does not look friggin’ ugly; but, it’s not up to my standard. I really want to come up with a better design than this one; and so, with a heavy heart, I decided to start over.

Angelica Brigade Starting Over Destroy to create

So, I picked my scissors up and remove all the beads from its chainmaille bracelet.

The good news is, during the process of chopping all the beading wires off & destroying my previous work , I came up with a new design (^____^)

20130323-065040.jpg

And now, I’m ready to re-build this bracelet . . .

To be honest, I dismantle my works quite regularly.

I don’t want to waste the perfectly good materials by dumping all the pieces I don’t like so much into a box At the very least, I can re-use these beads to create design samples. I can also use them to test my new design ideas (the experimental kinds, the ones I can’t tell whether they’re going to work).

So yes, I destroy my own works; but, it’s not an act of desperation.

This week, though, I’ve been dismantling many more pieces than I usually do. This week have been all about constructing —> deconstructing —> re-constructing —> deconstrucing —>re-constructing —> [and so on]. In fact, I’ve been deconstructing & reconstructing one same piece more than 3 times a day and a few days in a row. It’s been a little exhausting. And so, I need to make sure that the end result will justify this tons of effort.

~0o0~

Anyway . . .
I’ve been thinking about discontinuing the weekly finds section . . . Why?

  • First of all, I’m not the kind of person who shops for fun.
  • I don’t browse the internet to find new cool items to buy either . . .
  • I also noticed that the weekly finds section is filled with a bunch of random items ranging from weird/interesting gadgets, accessories, tutorials, discount coupons, free iPhone apps, and what not … In other words, the list is filled with a jumble of unrelated things …

Ah, well . . .

Again, to me, time goes by much too quickly . . . and all I can manage is write one blog post a week.

But . . . I’ve been posting new things on my photo blog regularly. I post most of them on Instagram and share some of those contents on my Tumblr. So, if you want to see some behind-the-scenes photos, some cool or funny things I find, inspiring images (taken by other artists/photographers), and pictures of cute animals, yummy food, and things like that, come and visit my Instagram or Tumblr photo blog :)

Have a fantastic weekend~

-joyce of Angelica Brigade

Geometric / Mod / 1960s-inspired Nail Art

Inspired by one of Spring 2013’s fashion trend: Bold geometric prints.

geometric nail art tutorial hot pink neon fuchsia and cool gray zoya nail polish nail art nail lacquer

Products used:
20130124-041606.jpg

  • Nailtiques Formula 2 Nail Protein
  • Zoya Professional Nail Lacquer in Kristen (cool gray)
  • Zoya Professional Nail Lacquer in Jolene (neon / bright fuchsia)
  • (Optional – for extra sparkles): O.P.I. Nail Lacquer in Last Friday Night (blue glitter)

You can use any color you want, but I recommend using opaque, full-coverage nail polishes; ; otherwise:

  • You can’t form crisp (& visible) line without putting 2 layers of each nail polish before moving onto the next step.
  • What’s so bad about it? Unless you can make sure that you can prevent yourself from moving your hands for a few hours, you’ll end up with imperfect / uneven/  bumpy-lookling nail art.

Here are the steps:
1. I always start by using this nail protein as base coat.
20130124-042701.jpg

2. Put the one layer of nail polish (In this picture, Color #1 : Cool gray)
20130124-042724.jpg

3. After the first layer’s completely dry, put one layer of the second color  (In this picture, Color #2 = Neon / bright fuchsia).
20130124-043452.jpg

3. After the previous layer’s completely dry, put one layer of Color #1 nail polish
20130124-044416.jpg

4. Repeat.

5. If you want, paint a layer of glitter on top of it.

6. Put one layer of top coat. As usual, I use Nailtiques Nail Protein instead.

By the way, if we don’t wait for the previous layer(s) to dry before we paint another layer of nail polish,  the lines the layers create will look wobbly (see below). I made that mistake the first time I tried to create this nail art.

mod-nail-wobbly

How to Coat Pliers with Tool Magic

To achieve this result:

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

~0o0~

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

What you’ll need (aside from your pliers & a jar of Tool Magic):

  • Something you can use to stir the Tool Magic (I usually use the free chopsticks I get from Chinese takeaways)
  • Some napkins
  • Something to prop your pliers on while you wait for the coat(s) of Tool Magic to dry (I usually use a mug, but anything that can hold your pliers upright will do)

Steps:

1.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Stir the Tool Magic slowly but thoroughly

2.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

I want to waste as little Tool Magic as possible, so I use the edge of its jar to put it back into its container

3.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Don’t toss the chopstick yet. You’ll need it to stir the Tool Magic one more time when you apply the second coating

4.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Clean your pliers to make sure that it’s free of oil or other kinds of residue

5.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Dip the front tips of your pliers* into the rubber coating at a 90-degree angle for approximately one second.
*Approx. 1/2″ to 3/4″ (1.5 – 2 cm)

6.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Remove the pliers – still at a 90-degree angle – from the jar

7.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Prop the pliers at an upright angle and wait for the first rubber coating to dry.
>> This is how it looks like when the rubber coating is still wet <<

8.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Wait for about 45 minutes to an hour
>>> This is how it looks like when the first coating has dried <<<

9.

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Apply the second coating
( Remember to stir the Tool Magic before you dip the tips of your pliers into it for the second time )

How to cover pliers with tool magic Tutorial Covering Pliers with ToolMagic

Once again, prop you pliers at an upright angle & wait for at least 4 hours before you use them. I, however, usually let them to dry overnight before I use the pliers again.

Continue reading

A Simple yet Fun ChainMaille Bracelet

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.

You can create this ChainMaille Bracelet in within 1 hour or less

What you need are a pair of pliers & some jump rings.

I used 16 gauge (1.6 mm) aluminum wire jump rings with 1/4″ (6.35 mm) inner diameter

You can either purchase some jump rings with 4.0 Aspect Ratio or make your own jump rings

And, if this piece is going to be your first chainmaille jewelry, learn how to open & close jump rings properly by reading my previous blog post

You can download the pdf tutorial here or follow the following tutorial (^_____^):

1. Decide your color scheme. (For first-timers: It’s easier to start with making a two-colored version of the bracelet first).

2. Open all of the jump rings in color A (in this tutorial: Red) & close all of the jump rings in color B (in this tutorial: Green)

3. Using a jump ring in color A (red), scoop 2 jump rings in color B (green)

4. Close the color A (red) jump ring

5. Hook another color A (red) jump ring onto the previous color A jump ring

6. Weave two color B jump rings (green) onto the open color A (red) jump ring

7. Close the color A (red) jump ring

8. Put the jump rings on top of your workspace and separate the color B (green)

9. Weave another color A (red) ring onto the previous color A ring right between the two color B (green) rings

10. Weave 2 Color B (green) rings onto the open Color A (red) ring; then close the Color A (red) ring.

11. To create a standard size bracelet, repeat steps 8 – 11 till you have a 7″ (17.75 cm) chain.

12. Then, find the first & the last Color A (red) rings. Use jump rings to attach a clasp onto the bracelet. Or, you can also use a ribbon instead.

And … that’s it!!!

It can make a pretty good holiday gift, don’t you think?

~0o0~

Note:

If you can’t find a 6.4mm cylindrical object [to coil the wire and create your jump rings], a slightly smaller or larger mandrel will do

Or, get a chance to WIN enough premium quality jump rings to create this bracelet in any 2 colors you like or an All-in-One Starter Pack.  For more details, please read my previous blog post >>> https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/the-best-way-to-start-learning-to-create-chain-maille-jewelry-giveaway/

:)

~~~

Credit: This chain maille weave is Shaggy Loops, invented by Shelley of Metal Designz

However, all of the jewelry & step-by-step tutorial you see in this page is created by me, @k_joyz of Angelica Brigade

The Best Way to Start Learning to Create Chain Maille Jewelry + Giveaway

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The links to their website (below) are no longer active.

* * * * * GIVEAWAY * * * * *

Get a chance to win a Shaggy Loops Bracelet kit in any colorway (you can choose any 2 color) you prefer by leaving me a comment on this blog post between November 18 – 21, 2012 !!!

This giveaway is open to everyone, not just US residents.

I made the bracelet in several different colors. What color combination will you choose if you make your own version of the bracelet?

The winner will be selected at random & will receive an instruction & enough jump rings to create a 7.5″ version of this bracelet from Blue Buddha Boutique.

Also, get a chance to win an All-in-One, Easy Start to Chainmaille Pack

Read on and find out what the All-in-One pack contains & how you can win it!~

.

.

.

* * * * * The Best Way to Start Learning to Create Chain Maille Jewelry * * * * *

We can’t create chainmaille jewelry using randomly selected jump rings.

If the jump rings you use is too small or too thick, you either can’t weave the rings through or the weave is going to be as stiff as a chopstick or a twig

On the other hand, if the rings you use are too thin or too large … the weave is going to be so loose that the links can’t hold its shape and when you wear it as jewelry, the links will definitely flop or look flattened

~0o0~

In the beginning, whenever I learned a new chainmaille weave, I used to need some time to figure out the ring sizes I need.

But, now, people who want to learn to create chainmaille jewelry do not need to go through a similar difficulty because – recently – Blue Buddha Boutique launched a number of chainmaille starter packs that simplify the process.

Every pack is different so you can start learning to make chainmaille jewelry by creating your favorite piece(s) & without having to purchase too many jump rings you might not need.

You can start by learning just one piece such as this one by using the All-in-One, Easy Start to Chainmaille Pack

The pack contains Euro Tool Ergo pliers coated with Tool Magic*, mini bead mat for holding your rings while you work, instructions (for right-handed & left-handed learners) and enough jump rings to create a Celtic Visions bracelet in the colorway(s) you prefer.

There are a few more exciting starter packs you might want to check out:

They can make great holiday gifts, don’t you think?

To read more &/or purchase the starter packs, please visit the following link >>> http://www.bluebuddhaboutique.com/b3/supplies/starter-packs/

To get a chance to WIN the All-in-One, Easy Start to Chainmaille Pack, simply leave a comment on the following blog post by November 28, 2012  >>> http://www.bluebuddhaboutique.com/blog/2012/11/chainmaille-starter-packs-blog-hop-giveaway/ <<<

Good luck!~

:)

@k_joyz of Angelica Brigade

How to [properly] open & close jump rings

Using flat nose pliers, hold the jump ring near its kerf / opening.

Then, gently & simultaneously, pry the jump ring open at a straight line

( Do not yank the jump ring, otherwise, you might end up with a bent jump ring )

To close the jump ring, gently wiggle the jump ring back & forth till you hear a click.

You know that you closed the jump ring properly if you can barely see the kerf/opening & the ring lays completely flat

~0o0~

Note:

1. Always use [at least one] flat nose pliers that are big enough to hold the entire jump ring. It will give you much more leverage & make it easier for you to open and close the jump ring at a straight line.

2. Do not use chain nose pliers. Its doesn’t provide you enough leverage & good enough grip to open your jump rings at a straight line.

3. Proper pliers that provide your grip with good leverage enable you to open & close the jump rings smoothly, no death grip necessary.

4. In fact, you shouldn’t grip the pliers too tightly because it can mar your jump rings and – overtime – can give you a wrists injury.

5. To make sure that your pliers don’t scratch the jump rings, you might want to cover the tips of your pliers with Tool Magic or masking tape.

By the way …

Do not close your jump rings this way as the ring will simply pop back open the moment you let the pliers go:

Continue reading

Chain Maille for Beginners

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.

Here’s my current teaching method:

  1. I will give you the basic principles.
  2. Then, I will show you some examples.
  3. Finally, I will show you how you can use the principles to design & create your own jewelry.

Ready?

~0o0~

What you might need:

  1. Jump rings*
  2. A pair of pliers*
  3. Wirecutters (only if you plan to make your own jump rings)
  4. Pen & Paper

[* Notes & tips at the bottom of this post. To find out which jump ring size(s) you need, please read my tutorial below ]

~0o0~

Wanna make your own chainmaille jewelry but not sure which where to start?

In my opinion, the first chainmaille weave you might want to master is the Japanese Weave.

It’s easy to figure out & very versatile.

It’s the only chainmaille weave I used to construct this necklace:

Angelica Brigade Handmade Chain Maille Jewelry Steampunk Brass Copper Necklace ChainMailler Jewellery Skeleton Key Tim Holtz Sprocket

The basic principle of this weave is:

2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … by 2 jump rings.

2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … by 2 jump rings

Okay, now, let’s bring it onto the next level:

The principle is still the same: 2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … by 2 jump rings

Add a few more links here & there, and this is what you might come up with:

Angelica Brigade handmade chain maille jewelry AngelicaBrigade chainmaille jewellery ring Japanese Weave

And … if you mix the the jump rings with other materials such as Swarovksi crystal oval rings, the weave is  going to look like this:

AngelicaBrigade Handmade Chain Maille Necklace Jewelry Fashion Jewelry Angelica Brigade swarovski statement necklace

If you look at the picture closely, you can see that the same principle still applies:

2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … by 2 jump rings

~0O0~

Now, let me show you how you can use the principle to design your own jewelry:

Start by sketching you design (in 1:1 scale) on a piece of paper. That way, you can see what jump ring size(s) you need, & how many.

One of the ways to do it is by linking them one jump ring at a time, but … if you want to finish making the piece a little faster, here’s what you might wanna do:

1.

Scoop 2 pre-closed jump rings (shown in black) with another jump ring (shown in gold):

and then close it (the gold jump ring).

2.

Double the gold jump ring by weaving it onto the black jump ring:

then, close that gold jump ring.

3.

Next, weave yet another gold ring through the black rings

4.

Weave 2 pre-closed black jump rings onto the gold jump ring (in this case, gold ring #3) before you close it.

5. Then, repeat steps 2 – 4 till you come up with the number of links you want.

Remember: 2 jump rings … linked with 2 other jump rings … with 2 jump rings

All I need to do now is to get a pair of ear wires & link the ear wires onto this handmade chain using the small jump ring I already attached on the top of this short chain.

I know, the design of this earring is not very attractive. So, let’s turn it into a necklace instead, shall we?

Simply repeat steps 2 – 4 till you have the length you want, then attach a toggle clasp at the ends of the chain using small jump rings:

Better?

If you like, you can embellish the chain with ready-made pendants or other jewelry findings.

The ones I used to create this piece are Tim Holtz‘s idea-ology World Keys and Sprocket Gears by available in JoAnn, Michaels, and (of course) Amazon.com.

Angelica Brigade handmade hair fascinator AngelicaBrigade hatinator for wedding bridal bride race racing festival party parties special occassion event lolita silk flower floral organza shantung headpiece hair fascinator unusual unique couture quality

~0o0~

Now, some notes on the jump rings & pliers.

If you are not sure that chainmailling is for you & don’t want to purchase some things you might never use again, you can start by making your own jump rings & borrowing a pair of flat-nose electrical pliers (not the huge ones, though) … or getting them from a hardware store with a good return policy.

Or … get a chance to WIN chainmaille starter packs [ courtesy of Blue Buddha Boutique ] via an online GIVEAWAY I will host on this blog (https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com) this weekend (Friday, November 16, 2012). The giveaway is open to everyone (not just U.S. residents). So, please check back this Friday, or – to receive a reminder about the giveaway – please follow my blog via email.

Thanks, and have a great week~

@k_joyz of Angelica Brigade

*** UPDATE: Get a chance to WIN a jewelry-making kit or an All-in-One ChainMaille Starter Pack.  For more details, please read this blog post >>> https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/the-best-way-to-start-learning-to-create-chain-maille-jewelry-giveaway/

 

Continue reading

How to make your own jump rings

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.

1.

Coil a length of wire onto a cylindrical object.

I wanted to make 9.0 mm jump rings; so I used this 9.0 mm knitting needle as a mandrel.

2.

Cut the coil using wire cutters.

AngelicaBrigade joyz Angelica Brigade joyz*k tutorial joyz chainmaille jumpring make jump ring making

3.

And … you’ve got your jump rings.

BUT, as you can see … the edges of these homemade jump rings aren’t very smooth.

(That’s the reason I no longer use homemade jump rings to create my jewelry)

AngelicaBrigade joyz Angelica Brigade joyz*k tutorial joyz chainmaille jumpring make jump ring making

Let’s compare them with these saw-cut premium quality professionally-made jump rings I bought from Blue Buddha Boutique:

But, you can either cut or file those edges to make them smoother.

@k_joyz of AngelicaBrigade

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Extremely low budget photography for craft sellers

I still take all the photographs using my iPhone 4,

&

Use natural sunlight

&

Rely on my one & only $100 plastic mannequin to model my pieces
* * * * * * * * * *

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade Handmade Silk Floral Hair Fascinator Silk Flower Clip Salmon Pink Iridescent Green Photography independent designer etsy seller

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade handmade silk hair fascinator silk floral clip headpiece red fuchsia hot pink raspberry iridescent green shantung taffeta photography fashion style indie independent designer

* * * * * * * * * * *

So many people (even some fellow Etsy sellers) asked me where I got my mannequins …

(They seem to think that I own more than one mannequin)

I actually got my mannequin from a liquidated store.

This is how “she” used to look like:

I used COPIC Markers (not in these exact colors) to contour her cheeks and to make her eye makeup more dramatic

Because the markers are alcohol-based, I used alcohol swabs to blend the colors and to erase some mistakes (hey, it was my first attempt after all)

Then, I glued 3 layers of false eyelashes on “her” top eyelids …

Since wigs can look very plastic, shiny, & fake on photographs, I powdered the wigs I bought for my mannequin with talcum powder. And to make the wigs look more natural, I made them look less perfect by brushing them [not-so-gently] with my synthetic circle hair brush.

Some of the synthetic hair broke & got stuck on the brush, but the acquired imperfections cause the wigs to look much more like humans’ hair.

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade hatinator handmade silk hair fascinator silk floral clip headpiece red fuchsia hot pink raspberry iridescent green shantung taffeta silk organza photography fashion style indie independent designer

See … there’s nothing good make-up & good haircut cannot fix.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Now … let’s talk about the photographing process

I took most of my product pictures against a white 3 and 1/2 feet (or approx. 1 meter) wall behind my house.

Most of the time, I only use her torso, arms, & head and keep her lower limb in my garage.

I like to take the pictures when the sun is shines quite brightly (but not too brightly) & when the sunlight falls at an angle. I usually do a light check using my iPhone 4’s screen. If the sunlight doesn’t cast too much shadow & if the colors of my mannequin & my handmade items are not too distorted, then I know that it’s a good time for me to take the photographs.

>>> The key is to ignore what’s right in front of you & focus only on the image you seen on your iPhone’s screen. If you use a digital camera, rely on your digital camera’s screen or viewfinder instead <<<

Then, use the screen to find the mannequin’s best angles. Ignore the mannequin itself, and only look at the screen and keep on moving till I find good angles to shoot the mannequin from.

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade Handmade Jewelry Jewellery  Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine   Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Nickle-free & lead-free.  Vintage-inspired.  The handmade chain is constructed one metal link at a time.  Made with meticulous attention to detail.

To take this type of photograph, I lay a white foam board on the ground, at the spots where I get adequate sunlight. I use my iPhone’s screen to find the best spots & the best times to take the photographs (again, not too much shadow, no significant color distortion you can’t fix with simple photo-editing software)

* * * * * * * * * * *

To take this picture, I laid a foam board on top of a small table, & pose my mannequin on top of them.

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade hatinator handmade silk hair fascinator silk floral clip headpiece red fuchsia hot pink raspberry iridescent green shantung taffeta silk organza photography fashion style indie independent designer

And, to take this picture, I laid a faux-fur throw on top of the same table.

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade Handmade Silk Floral Hair Fascinator Silk Flower Clip Salmon Pink Iridescent Green Photography independent designer etsy seller

Then, I moved my iPhone around till I find great angles to take the pictures from.

Once I arranged the mannequin on top of the table, I did not look at it (not even once!) and when I fix her hair or re-arrange the mannequin, I also rely on my iPhone’s screen to show me how I should do them.

So, what do you think? Wanna give it a try?

If you have any question, please feel free to leave me a comment :)

@k_joyz of Angelica Brigade

How I Create This Type of Knotted Chainmaille + Swarovski Statement Necklaces

handmade jewelry statement necklace chainmaille jewellery chain maille chain mail chainmail knotted swarovski fancy stone black gold angelica brigade angelicabrigade etsy indie designer bold sculptural unusual unique
~0o0~

STEP 1:  Coating my pliers with 2 thin layers of ToolMagic to make sure that the jewelry I create is 100% free of toolmark &/or scratch

STEP 2: Sorting the jump rings. (I set the imperfect jump rings aside and use only them when I am learning a new chainmaille weave).

STEP 3: Pre-closing the black anodized aluminum jump ringsas neatly as possible.

STEP 4: Opening the gold anodized aluminum jump rings.

STEP 5: Weaving the jump rings. (This weave is called box chain. I learned this weave from Rebeca Mojica’s  Book: Chained, but you can learn it for free by watching this YouTube tutorial or reading this free online tutorial instead).

STEP 6: Continue weaving the jump rings till I create a 40-inch or 101-cm chain

STEP 7: Attaching the Swarovski Fancy Stones and Knotting the ChainMaille

And yes … the 40″ or 101 cm chain only forms the center front part of the necklace

STEP 8: Deciding the length of the necklace

STEP 9: Create two more handwoven links (by repeating step 2 – 5) , twisting & linking them onto the center front part of the statement necklace, and connecting the ends of those links to a toggle clasp.

Ring counts: Approx. 20 rings per inch.

Thus, to create this type of statement necklace, I need to use more than 1200 pieces of jump rings.

The time I need to create this type of necklace: More than 12 hours.

This week’s (08/20/2012 – 08/26/2012) great reads:

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.

Self Development:

DIY Tutorials:

Fun / Interesting Stuffs:

Books:

Quotes:

Shakespeare Quote Quotes

(Source: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150981037891109 )

Full disclosure: I'm an Amazon.com Associate, but I'm not paid by the authors of the books I mentioned (above) to say great things about their works. If you like my recommendations, please purchase the items through the links I provided (above). Thanks for your support :-)

WHY the QUALITY of the jump rings we use to create our chain maille jewelry MATTERS

Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.
Before, Burr Cut Jump Rings

Then: A chainmaille necklace I made using homemade jump rings.

After, High Quality Jump Rings, Angelica Brigade Knott Necklace

Now: A chainmaille necklace I made using high quality saw cut jump rings.

I used to make my own jump rings by coiling a length of jewelry wire on a knitting needle and then cutting them with my flush cutters.( For a tutorial on how to make your own jump rings, please visit https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/how-to-make-your-own-jump-rings/ )

The necklaces I used to create were not too bad, but I wouldn’t call them jewelry. Handmade accessories perhaps, but not jewelry. Take a look at this piece (the very first chainmaille necklace I’d ever created):

It looks good enough from afar; but, if you look at it closely, you can see that it does not look so pretty.

Contemporary Chain Maille Necklace with a Large Swarovski Crystal Centerpiece, US$60 Made to order. http://www.etsy.com/listing/89827486/contemporary-chain-maille-necklace-with An original design by joyz*k of Angelica Brigade http://www.etsy.com/listing/89827486/

When the edges of the jump rings aren’t neatly cut, no matter how well we close the rings, the end result would never look very professional.The quality of my work began to change the moment I decided to use high quality jump rings.

I buy most (more than 95%) of the jump rings I use from Blue Buddha Boutique (B3). [I’m not paid to write this blog post. I don’t work for the company either. I’m just a big fan of their jump rings & tutorials].

~0o0~

From time to time, I do order some jump rings from many different suppliers; but … none of them is as well made as B3’s.

< < < Now . . . if only B3 makes anodized aluminum jump rings in paler gold color . . . and may be antique gold color . . . . . . . . . . Because I really need them > > >

But they don’t . . . So, I decided to order such jump rings elsewhere. But . . . . . . . .

I don’t think I’m going to be able to use these jump rings after all.Take a look at this picture:

Here is a closer look at the jump rings I ordered elsewhere

Look at them . . .See how the jump rings are cut? Plus, none of them can lay flat on my table. None of them look the same, and many of them are not very round . . .
Very unlike the rings I got from B3 below:

See how neat their cuts are? And since these rings are colored/anodized after they are cut, all of the rings’ surface(s) are in one color.

So, even if one fails to close the rings nicely, the piece wouldn’t look too messy.

(As opposed to certain jump rings I see in Jo-Ann’s or Michaels … and any homemade jump rings, please check the picture below)

So,

Here is the piece I made using the jump rings I recently bought from a different supplier

I can’t bear how messy it looks …

(I might be need to shelf this project till I find a way to make B3’s gold-colored anodized aluminum rings less bright-yellow-gold. I’m thinking about using Greased Lightning Degreaser . . . because I tried to make those rings look more rustic by brushing them with barbecue grill brush and it didn’t work)

. . .

And  . . . for a comparison, here is the one I made using B3’s niobium rings

. . . . . . .

What do you think?

-joyz*k of Angelica Brigade

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