This conceptual photograph is the (almost) perfect reflection of my current state of mind.
I’m giving myself a deadline. By the end of this week, I really should finish defragging my mind.
. . .
Last year, I overcommited myself to too many projects. I spent most of my waking hours (and sleepless nights) working. And so, I had no time to think and evaluate things.
It’s something I can no longer postpone.
It’s easier to keep on doing the same things and let chances, lucks, other people, and other external factors to decide the outcome; but, it sounds hazardous to me. It’s like going through life like a rudderless ship (which, eventually, will get stranded somewhere unpleasant).
Now that all the holiday festivities are over, let’s not waste the new opportunities (and lessons) 2014 has to offer
– joyz k / miu vermillion @ Angelica Brigade
Any ad that might show up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade
Life is filled with unpredictable events; so, I’d learned not to say never.
But, these probably are the very last handmade flowers I create as a member/founder/leader of Angelica Brigade.
As of yesterday, I no longer sell handmade accessories and jewelry through any online handmade marketplaces
It was the end of Angelica Brigade’s years as a demi-couture accessories and jewelry company. But, Angelica Brigade is still here . . . This metamorphosis is just a beginning of something new.
My team and I are working on several massive projects. (Actually, we are still doing the very same things we’ve been doing these past few years, but in a larger scale. I’ll tell you more about those projects in a future blog post).
There are also a few fashion editorial photos that are going to show up in several publications early next year. (Hint: We produced them in October 2012; and it was the true start of Angelica Brigade’s metamorphosis).
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[from my Instagram photo blog]
As a person, I’ve finally come full circle. And, for the first time in my life, I feel whole.
I’ll write more about this next Sunday (December 22, 2013), but here’s the short summary:
I came from a family of white-collar workaholics. And, for decades I’ve been dealing with their not-so-positive opinions and reactions about my decision to pursue something they consider manual labor (using my hands to make art . . . and then demi-couture jewelry and accessories). I’ve learned not to care about what they think and say; but, it used to feel like a rebellion. But not anymore. It took many years; but, I’ve made peace with myself, the kind of person I am, and my wishes for the future.
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This upcoming Wednesday (December 18, 2013), I will share my favorite diy tutorials (written by other experts)
Any ad that shows up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade
When it was 75% done, it didn’t look so bad . . .
But, when I finished “drawing the outlines” of the design with beads, I noticed that the piece looks too silver and I should’ve used green & red beads instead. Unfortunately, I’m on the road right now and can’t find 3mm fire polished beads in those colors.
And so, I decided to paint them . . .
Actually, it was worse . . . I made several huge mistakes . . .
I thought that if I cover the yarns with Mod Podge, I can preserve the quality of the yarns for many years to come . . .
But . . . things didn’t work out the way I expected. And when I realized I made several critical mistakes, I tried to salvage the project using several experimental solutions that actually made things even worse.
Look at this barf-inducing outcome:
But what a disaster . . .
At least, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons from this failed project:
I’m not great with “wet mediums” (paints, liquid adhesives, and such) . . . I’m being completely honest and realistic here, but years of practice only help me to be less bad at using them . . . So, from now on, unless I really have to . . . I think it’s wiser for me to avoid using unwashable liquid medium . . .
It’s called using one’s resources (especially one’s time) wisely
I’m in the process of creating a better version of the piece. Please check back in Wednesday to download the free pattern and tutorial :)
In the meantime, have a fantastic weekend!!!
Update (04/17/2916): Blue Buddha Boutique is closing its door permanently. The link to their website (below) is no longer active.
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)
“Color” the design using satin stitch
Use the #5 embroidery floss with #1 embroidery needle
Bead the outline of the design using 3mm fire-polished beads
Start from the middle
Bead the edges last
Cut approx. 4″ of grosgrain ribbon and fold it in half
Stitch the ribbon onto the back side of the piece
Lazy stitch the #11 cylinder beads on the upper part of the design
(the empty spot I marked on Figure 1)
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
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)
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
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)
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
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This upcoming Sunday:
Failed! And learned (a lot!!) from that failure – A misadventure in designing a hair accessory
Free Tutorial: Christmas-Themed Hair Accessory
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Any ad that shows up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade
Please watch the following video and tell me what you think.
About two weeks ago, someone whose Etsy store was (also) closed by Etsy Integrity Team contacted me. This is what she wrote:
Helen · June 25, 2013 - 6:07 am Watch this video and pass it explains the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing aka “Etsy” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53Hwl6Y9UWs This is the same story I keep on hearing. Etsy has been getting away with this for years. Now this has to stop and the only way to hurt them is make the Attorney General in their state make them comply to have a real telephone customer service team. Bombard the internet and get the Attorney General in New York to make Etsy comply or shut them down. This company has no telephone service they have thousands of sellers who my law have have the rights to speak to a real person about their livelihood. This company is even acting like a bank where they have their own payment processing and still no telephone customer team where you can ask a question about YOUR business the business you grew. Something sounds very fishy all the stories from sellers Etsy has damaged without a moments thought the so called integrity team asking for the in’s and out’s of a sellers business and then still giving them the big heave ho when all the information has been given. I have had the unfortunate dealings with Eliza on Etsy and I totally understand that this person is incompetent she was rude, arrogant and ignorant however the lack of customer service must be coming from the top otherwise this person would not have been allowed to address me the way she did without being reprimanded. I have a right as a customer to speak to a real person and for them to explain what is happening and how to resolve it. But all you get is a email answered whenever they feel like it and a person who is demeaning and not their to help you in any shape or form and not only that puts barriers in the way and makes it hard as possible for you. Bombard the Attorney General and ask him why he is letting this Multi Million company in his jurisdiction get away with such bad business practices. Name and shame that is the only way these faceless corporations ever learn by denting their pockets. Etsy your time is coming and I will laugh my arse off when you cowards have to face your customers with no more hiding behind your computer screens. File reports and ask others to do the same: http://www.ag.ny.gov/internet-bureau-online-complaint-form I can describe building a business on Etsy like building a house on sand it will eventually collapse because it’s build on a weak foundation. Helen
Last February, Etsy Integrity Team shut my store down because I wasn’t willing to show them how I sculpted and knotted my original statement necklace. It took me months to get over the shock, sadness, and bitterness. But I’ve moved on.
I learned from other people whose stores were also closed by the Etsy Integrity Team … it can happen again and again … So, I thought that it’s wiser for me to just stay away from Etsy.
Requiring every Etsy Integrity Team member to face the people whose stores s/he suspended might be a good first step. This can help him/her to see us as people … and to realize that s/he can ruin people’s lives and start avalanches of pain and bitterness with just a clicks of his/her computer mouse.
But … to me, it’s not enough.
I believe that the people who randomly flag and report their fellow sellers in order to get rid of their competitors should face the consequences of the things they’ve done and pay for the losses that are suffered by the people whose lives they ruined. They should realize that what they’ve been doing amount to cyber bullying. Also, because they maliciously make their fellow sellers to loose their businesses, their investments, and perhaps also their livelihoods … these people might have committed several criminal acts as well.
Unless I’m sure that I’m protected against such people, I would never sell anything via Etsy again.
Recently engaged and addicted to Pinterest?
I will write more about the luxury gift basket in a few days. What I can tell you right now is that it will include a one-of-a-kind piece by Angelica Brigade :)
Terms and conditions apply. Must be engaged to enter. More information is available here.
First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!
How’ve you guys been?
Ready for this week’s finds?
Here they are:
Are you familiar with this photo (editing & sharing) app called Magic Hour by Kiwiple?
I downloaded mine many months ago when it was 100% free. But now, if you want to download tons of photo filters, you are going to need to need to buy the full version of the app. But, the Lite (or, shall we say limited?) version of this app is still 100% free. You can’t download all the filters you want, but you can still create as many filters as you like and save those filters in the app.
I also like the fact that I can save multiple versions of one same photo (with various different filters) with a click of a button.
And, you can connect the app with various social media (e.g. Instagrsm, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare, etc) as well.
A simple yet rather challenging free iPhone/iPod Touch game: Vegetable Panic.
Each stage’s time limit is usually very short (between 40 to 71 seconds) and every time you uproot a vegetable you aren’t supposed to uproot, you’ll get a -5 seconds penalty. So, it can be a little frustrating at times. But, it’s what makes the game rather addictive.
Again, sorry for the lack of meaningful & useful posts. I’ll try to finish these piles of tasks I have on my task list as quickly as possible. Wondering what I’ve been up to? Get a few sneak peeks via Instagram. My user name is – you guessed it – AngelicaBrigade.
Till next week~
You guys have a great one :)
Levitron Revolution: A device that levitate anything – as long as they are no more than 12 ounces
Available at Amazon Marketplace
Price range: Starting from $60.00 + shipping & handling
Sorry for the lack of updates/new blog posts~
I’ve been knee deep in work~
I’m planning to launch Angelica Brigade v.02 as soon as I possibly can, and it involves a lot of research & planning.
I’ve also been racing with time as I’m learning to operate (the newest version of) several 3D modeling & animation computer programs~ (As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m collaborating with a writer to produce animation shorts & graphic novels).
And then, there’s my day job …
Plus, I’ve been creating several items I plan to enter into Fire Mountain Gems’ seed bead competition … making several some things for Mary Nine’s upcoming dance video … learning to create handmade lace … preparing several different jewelry-making & hair accessory-making tutorials … and making some other pieces for a big project that may or may not be put on hold.
Anyway, I’ve been posting many of my work in progress pictures on Instagram. That’s the best I can do at this time~
I don’t want to bombard people with the same photographs over and over again; so, if you want to take a look at what I’ve been making, feel free to find me on Instagram. You can also view those pictures by visiting this url >>> http://www.instagram.com/angelicabrigade
And, here are some pictures I didn’t post on Instagram~
This one is a test piece. I’m using 16 gauge jump rings for this one & the chainmaille base of this beaded bracelet looks a little floppy when it’s not worn on someone’s wrist:
Not like its original 14 gauge counterpart. I prefer this wire thickness better because the end result looks much neater/cleaner (and so, looks more professionally done).
Well, that’s it for today …
But, I found several interesting gadgets I want to share/show you guys this weekend. Till then~
– joyz*k of Angelica Brigade
According to http://www.hakes.co.uk/, Julian Hakes spent approximately 2 years refining this very light, comfortable, & elegant avant garde footwear. And, judging from the second photograph, they do look wearable.
And . . . the best news is . . . these award-winning* shoes aren’t insanely expensive either, and they are available via Amazon.co.uk (in many different colors!!!) >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/s?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=Julian%20Hakes&index=shoes&search-type=ss
Pricey, yes, but much less expensive than most designer shoes that aren’t as original and avant garde as these ones.
I know … these shoes aren’t for everyone. And, I’m not planning to purchase them either – at least, not until I can try them on in person & see if they really are comfortable to wear and look alright on me . . . but, I count myself as a big fan.
*Drapers Footwear & Accessories Awards 2012 winner
None of the images you see in this blog post is mine. I'm not using them for any commercial purpose. However, if you own the rights to these images & do not want to see them in this blog, please let me know so I can remove them from this page as soon as I possibly can.
AAA batteries operated (you will need 2 of them), comes with spill-proof drink-through lid, and quiet 4,000 rpm motor that can mix you a drink with a push of a button.
Can be a nice gift for someone’s upcoming birthday . . .
Anyway, here’s a cute video that cheers me no end
I like this version best :D
But, if you want to watch/listen to the Swedish Original, you can see it here >>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8E4Nirh9s
Have a great weekend, you guys!!!
I’ll write again in Monday~
-joyce of Angelica Brigade
I bought these books at Kinokuniya earlier today (or should I say yesterday, because it’s 1am right here in California)~
Can’t wait to accumulate some new skills~
I’m looking forward to be able to create this piece (the necklace on the very left) very soon:
The technique to create this lace-like piece is called Kukka Tatting. The book contains many different patterns.
I’m so excited!!!
Got to get myself some yarns first, though~
One of my friends posted this on Facebook. I don’t know the source, but it’s so “awwwwww-making” so I thought I should share it.
[P.S. If you own the rights to this image and don’t want to see it in this blog, simply let me know]
Sorry for the late post
I’m gonna fly to the other side of the world in a few minutes. So, I spent the weekend finishing the tasks I needed to finish before I leave & then pack my stuffs.
Anyway . . .
This week’s find is 100% free. But, it’s still a find nonetheless; cuz it’s awesome. And so cute.
It’s an Instagram account~
The bunny looks like a toy, doesn’t it?!
Anyway, I’ll write again in a few hours. Gotta go~
Statement Wing Earrings for every budget: $18.00 – $4,485.00
Noor Fares Wing Earrings. The wings are made out of (carved) ebony. They are set in gold and studded with diamonds. And so, they are frigging expensive. (Please scroll down for some cheaper alternatives).
Here’s the sterling silver & black rhodium version of the earrings which are 1380% cheaper than the ebony, gold, & diamond version.
I love these silver & rhodium one. It has a tribal feel to it but also looks very contemporary.
But, wait … similar earrings are also available in Etsy for $18 (the white ones – which are made out of carved bones) & $24 (the black ones – which are made out of carved buffalo horns). To me, judging from the pictures, they look well-made.
These ones by Tribal Style, an Etsy seller with a 100% positive rating by more than 32,000 customers:
Now, onto the next find: A Free ChainMaille Jewellery-Making Tutorials
Actually, there are tons of chainmaille tutorial on Deviant Art, so you might want to browse the site.
Have a great weekend!!!
See you guys on this blog in Monday.
This is a cocktail hat I created a long time ago – before concerns about costing, pricing, technical details, craftsmanship, wearability, fabric quality, & durability entered the picture.
I forgot about its existence until a few days ago.
[ I found it when I was packing my things as I was getting ready to move to a new place of residence & a new home office/studio ]
I must say that this piece looks more interesting than the things I’ve been making ever since I declared that Angelica Brigade is open for business (in November 11, 2011).
On a closer inspection, this cocktail hat isn’t very well-made. I made it with nothing more than a dressmaking & pattern-making knowledge I learned as an FIDM student many years ago. Notice the lumpy shape of the hat base & wrinkly appearance of the leopard print fabric?
I made the piece in an impulse. The hat frame is made using PVA-stiffened tulle that I reinforced with a fusible interfacing. The flower is made out of a 100% polyester lining fabric. And, the rest of the piece is made using scrap fabrics.
And now, are you ready to see the horrific part of this headpiece?
Here we go
. . .
Yet . . .
I see this piece as a memento of the abundance of creativity I once had, something I need to rediscover & reclaim without abandoning the technical & business knowledge I’ve been accumulating.
I made the piece with zero knowledge of hat-making and with no proper materials, too. I was driven – purely – by my imagination & fueled by my resourcefulness. I had a clear picture (inside of my head) of what I wanted & focused on bringing it into existence, limitations be damned. I made the piece for myself & no one else would know how the back of the hat looks like. But . . . now, it’s no longer an option.
Ever since sell my handmade hair accessories professionally, nothing but a perfect-looking backing is acceptable. And this will always be my philosophy.
But, I really need to design my pieces the way I used to: by bringing an imaginary piece into existence. But this time, I’m going to incorporate my hard-earned technical skills into the production stage of my designs & never stop learning a new thing at least on a weekly basis. As for costing & pricing, as long as the pieces I create clearly display my originality & technical expertise . . . someday, I will surely be justified in giving my designs premium prices . . .
I love Zoya PixieDust nail polish in Dahlia; but, I decided to get these nail colors instead:
Zoya PixieDust in Nyx
A wonderful & unique light-colored nail lacquer that’ll be perfect for Spring.
Zoya ChitChat in Gaia
Bright, clean white with delicate golden shimmer – another great nail color to wear this Spring.
Vampy, dark burgundy-red. Very film noir.
Because, once in a while, I want to wear something that’s both classic & dramatic
I also came up with a nail art design that’ll look great if I use this color as one of its accent colors.
(Stay tuned for the tutorial & pictures)
Opaque & creamy.
And, because I entered this promo code (below), I got a $24 discount:
So, the amount of money I spent to purchase 4 bottles of nail polishes was . . . $9.00 plus shipping & handling.
And, my grand total was $19.00
Not bad, right?
The offer expires in January 13th (tomorrow). So, if you want to use this opportunity to get high quality nail lacquers in beautiful colors at a pretty good price, you better hurry.
None of the photographs in this blog post is mine. If you own the rights of these pictures & don’t want to seem them in this blog, please let me know.
Wishing all of you a great holiday season!!!
Here’s this week’s Monday Oddity:
A hospital forced their elderly patients to use a tambourine (rather than an electric buzzer) to call a nurse in an emergency. They also provided them with a pair of maracas just in case the tambourines were broken :D
This must be the most original design I’ve seen in a long time
How do you like it?
More pictures & description is available in >>> http://shop.harpersbazaar.com/designers/tonya-hawkes/graphic-clutch
Have a great weekend!!!