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Coquette … 1920s Inspired Oversized Handheld Fan with a Beaded Handle

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Some of you might have guessed it~

This is the third design I submitted to Fire Mountain Gem‘ Seed Bead Contest.

I designed this as an alternative to a bridal bouquet for a stylized bridal magazine photoshoot.

Unlike the other two designs I submitted to the contest (this one and this one), the inspiration/concept behind this oversized handheld fan is a purely visual one . . . namely, the glitz and glamor projected by 1920s Hollywood actresses and my dream of being surrounded by ornately beautiful and opulent heirlooms.

The people I collaborated with told me they wanted to do a 1920s-and-1930s-Hollywood-inspired photoshoot. When I was doing my design research, I came across this these vintage photographs of famous dancers in the era.

vintage ostrich plumes feather fan 1920s dancer

Dolly Sisters feather fans

Captivating, aren’t they?

Self-assured without a hint of self consciousness . . . demure yet provocative . . . haughty, naughty, and elegant . . .

And . . . how luxurious & opulent those fans are!!!! I really want to own one for myself . . . I could easily purchase a ready-made fan from a burlesque shop and use it as a prop; but, I’m not a big fan of plastic fan staves . . . plus, it wouldn’t look right as an alternative to a bridal bouquet.

Not just that, I want my fan very fluffy. I actually use more than 3 dozens of ostrich plumes to create this fan.

(By the way, I created more than 1 fan for the shoot. The other fan is a lot bigger than this one. I needed about a pound (0.45 kg) of ostrich plumes to create the other one. The fan’s no longer mine; so, I’ll have to wait for the editorial pictures to be published before I can share its photographs with you)

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Everything’s made from scratch.

To make the fan’s handle looks extra sparkly, I used silver-plated beads, gold-plated beads, white beads with rainbow-effect coating, and fire-polished beads.

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I also added those dangling beads to make the fan looks interesting. They also create vertical lines that – I believe – can make the person who holds it looks slimmer.

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Anyway . . .

Here’s something I’m excited about: I pre-0rdered Kate McKinnon‘s 2nd volume of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork!!! And . . . as a bonus, I received the e-book version of the 1st volume for free!!!

I prefer my jewelry-making tutorials to come in digital format. So the bonus e-book is perfect for me. In fact, the bonus e-book is the main reason I pre-ordered the 2nd volume of the book :D

I love the book’s geometric and architectural beadwork tutorials. The designs are gorgeous, and the instructions are easy to follow. And, since it’s in a digital format, whenever I need to look at a certain detail more closely, I can simple zoom in/enlarge the image.

Here is the result of my very first attempt to learn to create one of the designs.

I’ll make better ones later this weekend and will blog about them next week.

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Till then~

-joyz of AngelicaBrigade

Ceaseless Ardor … 1920s (and, The Great Gatsby) Inspired Beaded Bridal Hair Accessory

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Here is the second beaded piece I entered to Fire Mountain Gem‘s Seed Beads Contest.

Actually, I created the piece for an editorial photo shoot. [ You can read more about it here ]

angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal headpiece amy michelson wedding dress editorial photo shoot

It is inspired by the glamorous accessories people wore in 1920s in general . . . and Daisy Buchanan (of the Great Gatsby) in particular.

I call this (stylized) leaf-shaped hair adornment Ceaseless Ardor . . .

It embodies Jay Gatsby’s eternally unrequited infatuation towards Daisy Buchanan . . . Many years has gone by, but his idolization remains strong and unchanging. Whenever I reflect upon that aspect of the tragic story, the word evergreen pops up in my mind.

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Original photo by Daniel Miłaczewski, annotation by MPF.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreen

Evergreen . . .
That’s how Jay Gatsby sees her
Eternally beautiful, graceful, and glamorous
.

Evergreen . . .
That’s what she will always be remembered as
The object of Jay Gatsby’s eternal adoration.

And . . .
That’s the how Jay Gatsby’s feeling towards her will remain . . .
Everlasting . . . undying . . . amaranthine . . .

And, so . . . when I was asked to create a Great-Gatsby-inspired bridal accessory, I couldn’t find a better design to represent Daisy Buchanan than an evergreen-leaf.

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Plus, I believe that this is a headpiece Daisy herself would’ve wanted (or considered) to wear.

I also made the headpiece as sparkly and opulent as I possibly could. To do it, I used nothing but sterling silver beads, silver-lined bugle beads, gleaming Swarovski crystal pearls, extremely shiny fire polished beads, and 24k gold plated beads to embellish the piece.

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With that basic idea in mind, this is how I created the headpiece.

Step 1:
Pattern-making.

It’s important to make sure that the piece will look nice when someone’s wearing it . . . and that it’s neither too small or too large
angelicabrigade-beaded-1920s-great-gatsby-inspired bridal-headpiece_patternmaking

Step 2:
Using beads, I “drew” the outline of the design.
I call this step “drawing with beads” . . .
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 3:
Covering the beading foundation with beads . . . making sure that the beading foundation is completely covered, and that the yarn doesn’t show up at all.
I have a thing for dimensional and textured beadworks. So, I used different kinds of beads in several different sizes to create the effect.
I call this step “coloring and shading the design” . . .
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 4:
Blocking (or shaping) the headpiece usinga traditional millinery hatblock.
That way, it will perch beautifully on top of the wearer’s hair.
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

See how it curves?
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 5:
Heat-treating the edges of the ultrasuede so none of its parts will unravel.
I basically melted the edges of the ultrasuede with candle flame.
angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 6:
Beading the edges of the beadwork and the ultrasuede to connect those two parts into one seamless piece.angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

angelica brigade handmade beaded bridal hair accessory angelicabrigade independent designer glamorous great gatsby 1920s inspired headpiece for bride design process

Step 7:
Creating the straps/headbands
Yep . . . this part isn’t made using a pre-made chain . . . it’s constructed one link at a time . . .
I call this step "drawing with beads" . . .

Phew . . . what a long post!

I guess I better show you the third piece I entered into the contest – and its design process – another time :O

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Next Saturday: The third design I entered into Fire Mountain Gem’s Seed Beads contest

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Want to see what I’m making right now? Find me on Instagram. My user name is AngelicaBrigade.

You can also see my current work in progress and other behind-the-scenes activities here.

Have a wonderful weekend, you guys!!!

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-joyce of Angelica Brigade

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Update (1/13/2014): You can find the list of all of the materials I used to create the headpiece here

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