//
archives

accessories

This tag is associated with 48 posts

Angelica Brigade for Dream Shoot Rentals: Geomatrix Modular and Convertible Headpiece and Mask

geomatrix-modular-convertible-headpiece_angelica-brigade -for-dream-shoot-rentals

A set of headpiece-and-mask you can style in many different ways. Please scroll down to see a few different ways I styled this 2-piece set.

(In case you are wondering, you – or your model – can see through this mask)

This is the first unit of the 2-piece set. It can be worn either as a mask or as a hat.

geomatrix-modular-convertible-headpiece_angelica-brigade -for-dream-shoot-rentals_02

You – or your model – can also wear it as a hat with a half-face mask like this:

geomatrix-modular-convertible-mask-and-headpiece_angelica-brigade -for-dream-shoot-rentals_03

The “mask” or the first unit of the set can also be worn as a neck piece . . .either by itself or on top of a simple top or dress.

The crown or the second unit of the piece can be worn on the middle or on either side of the head. It fastens with a heavy-duty but soft elastic strap.

Because the front side and the back side of the crown do not look identical, this crown can be worn in 6 different ways.

geomatrix-modular-convertible-mask-and-headpiece_angelica-brigade -for-dream-shoot-rentals_04_worn-as-neckpiece-and-crown

Here are some other ways you can style the set.
[Note: The pieces you see below are the first samples of the design. The current version look much smoother than the sample. Please scroll down to see the comparison between the first sample and its current version]

angelica-brigade_avant-garde_headpiece_millinery_origami_high-fashion_demi-couture_crown_no-label

angelica-brigade_avant-garde_hat

Here are the comparisons between the first sample and the current version.

geomatrix-modular-convertible-mask-and-headpiece_angelica-brigade -for-dream-shoot-rentals_closeup_comparison-of-the-current-and-previous-version

The mask consists of 5 separate origami units, and each origami unit is hand-stitched onto the other units.

In order to make sure the stitches won’t unravel for many years to come, I stitched each part using the use the thickest and strongest upholstery thread I could find.

geomatrix-modular-convertible-mask-and-headpiece_angelica-brigade -for-dream-shoot-rentals_hand-stitched-closeup-view

Because of the extensive work involved, (at this moment) the two-piece set retails for $850. But, you can rent it from Dream Shoot Rentals for $75. And, right now, you can get a 10% discount on your first order).

The piece is currently out of stock. So, please bookmark the page and check back in a few weeks.

Oh, by the way, you can see a similar headpiece in the 29th issue of Dark Beauty Magazine.

miu-vermillion_angelica-brigade_virtuogenix_dark-beauty-magazine

This piece can also be worn in several different ways.

miu-vermillion_cold-lonely-hearts_009_s

This one is also the first sample of the design. The current version is also seamless-looking (like the one seen on the 3rd image above this text).

It consists of 7 hand-stitched origami units, and fastened on the back using millinery grosgrain ribbons.

This one retails for $375 (+shipping) apiece.

(If you’d like to place an order, you can contact me via my Facebook Page)

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

I haven’t shared anything on Instagram for a few days because I’m not allowed to show the photos of the projects I’d been working at just yet. So, please wait till the images are published in two certain magazines in a month or so (-:

Tomorrow, I’m going to start working on my next projects. So, you can expect to see my real-time updates on Instagram again.

Till next Wednesday~

– joyce// Miu Vermillion @ Angelica Brigade

The Importance of Being Distinct

angelica-brigade_avant-garde_headpiece_millinery_origami_high-fashion_demi-couture_gothic-black-crown_

To be outstanding, one needs to be different

And to be different, one needs to embrace his/her uniqueness

Unfortunately,
Some people might consider certain distinct qualities as weirdness
And so, in order to avoid rejections and humiliation,
One might decide to keep one’s distinct qualities hidden
And thus, stay in obscurity . . .

angelica-brigade_avant-garde-headpiece_unusual-origami-hat

The same principle applies to artists and designers . . .

In order to succeed, artists and designers need to offer something new and different

At the same time,
To make a living,
Some artists and designers might decide
to create the things they believe their customers want to buy

They offer watered-down versions of their aesthetics or ideas
Some of them might even decide to create things they don’t even like
There can’t be any joy in that . . .

angelica-brigade_handmade-silk-flower-crown_burnt-silk-roses_demi-couture_custom_headpiece photo by miu vermillion

But, what if people don’t want to buy our works?

All of us need to make a living.

So, what should we do?

angelica-brigade_handmade-bespoke-buttterfly-demi-couture_headpiece

I don’t claim to know all the answers

But, I know for sure that in order to succeed, we need to be memorable
and,
If we don’t stand out from the crowd, we’ll be absolutely forgettable

And, if no one remembers us, no one will look for us and buy our works

angelica-brigade_work-in-progress

And, so . . . take that risk
Be different, and shine

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by 12 different publishers before Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury agreed to publish it.

Stephen King’s first book – Carrie – was rejected 30 times!!!

Walt Disney was rejected 302 times before he finally could get some fund to build his Disney World

So,
Expect rejections
At the same time,
Know that if we do our best and hold onto our distinctness, we’ll have a MUCH bigger chance to succeed

-joyce @ Angelica Brigade

[[ Select Press ]] – updated in Jan 12, 2014

Dark Beauty Magazine Winter Fashion Editorial

Free preview available in http://www.darkbeautymag.com/downloads/issue-26-winter-digital-download/
Behind the scenes photos are available here

angelica-brigade_grace-ormonde-wedding-style-magazine

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine – http://www.weddingstylemagazine.com/hollywood-nouveau
Behind the scenes photos are available here

angelica+brigade+la+carmina+lacarmina+angelicabrigade+leveled+magazine+front+page

(Leveled Magazine) Real Talk with La Carmina – http://www.leveledmag.com/2013/01/la-carmina/

The end of an era, the beginning of something new, as seen on La Carmina in Rebelicious Magazine

lacarmina-rebellicious-angelicabrigade

La Carmina, on Rebelicious Magazine, wearing the last custom-made Angelica Brigade silk hair flowers / fascinators

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).

131105_goth_model_alternative_modeling_rebelicious_magazine_art_nouveau_6

You can see the rest of the photos in La Carmina’s blog (check her blog out! her adventure and style never fail to inspire me)
or
On the magazine’s website

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

[from my Instagram photo blog]

Embarking on a gigantic project, consisting of a series of large scale pieces … #my #workinprogress / #wip #photoblog - #angelicabrigade #beadwork #design

Embarking on a gigantic project, consisting of a series of large scale pieces … #my #workinprogress / #wip #photoblog – #angelicabrigade #beadwork #design

Working on multiple projects at the same time & my work space is such a mess. Some people might say I should be more methodical, but, this time, I’m working with abandon. Without specific plan, I’m letting my whims & intuition to guide me. This freedom is intoxicating. There is a joy in it unlike any other. Doubtless, some of my experiments might end up in my dumpster; even so, beautiful & fantastical things will be born from those failures —- #angelicabrigade #photoblog #workinprogress #wip

Working on multiple projects at the same time & my work space is such a mess. Some people might say I should be more methodical, but, this time, I’m working with abandon. Without specific plan, I’m letting my whims & intuition to guide me. This freedom is intoxicating. There is a joy in it unlike any other. Doubtless, some of my experiments might end up in my dumpster; even so, beautiful & fantastical things will be born from those failures —- #angelicabrigade #photoblog #workinprogress #wip

#quote - #life - #truth

#quote – #life – #truth

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.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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

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

Feathers, Couture Accessories, and Vacuum Cleaner,

Making feathers accessories is a messy and wasteful process. Especially when I’m making this type of feather flower. I can only use the upper part of the feathers because the thicker lower part of the feathers aren’t very bendable. As a result, I have to toss 2/3 of the feathers away.
20130803-132508.jpg
I also need to toss the imperfect feathers away. I buy my feathers from the best feathers suppliers I know. Most (98%) of their feathers are in perfect condition. But, some of them have irregular shapes. And so, I can’t use them to make this feathers flower as well. But, I don’t toss them because I can trim them and use them to make other kinds of accessories.

Whenever I’m creating feathers accessories, my workspace looks as if it’s attacked by Suigintou, a Rozen Maiden manga (and anime) character. Why? Because the trimmed excess feathers will fly around everywhere . . .
20130803-132803.jpg20130803-135603.jpg
I need to thank Dyson for creating this handheld vacuum cleaner. It’s been a huge help in keeping my workspace clean.
20130803-132941.jpg

Angelica Brigade‘s Joyce

The Suigintou and Dyson Vacuum Cleaner images seen in this blog post are not mine. If you own the rights to these images and prefer not to see them on this blog post, please let me know. I'll be happy to replace them for you.

Improvisation

angelicabrigade_beadweaving_dimensional-hex-bangle

Some people might think that I am wearing 2 pieces of bracelets . . .

But . . .

angelicabrigade_beadweaving_dimensional-hex-bangle front

These two parts of the bracelet are actually connected.

The chunky strap of beads (the one with the toggle clap) functions as the bangle’s wrist harness. Its main function is to prevent the bangle from falling from my wrist . . . or worse,  launching itself and hitting unsuspecting people.

It’s the very first beadwork bangle I’ve ever created. So, I decided to refer to several sources so I can size the bangle correctly. But, because I’m extremely small boned (not skinny, just small boned), the bangle kept on falling from my wrist.

It actually hit my friend’s head. Twice. In a public space.

But, I spent more than a 20 hours creating it. I don’t want to throw it away. I was going to give it to a one of my friends or family members; but, it’s too small for them.

So . . . I decided that the only way I can make the bracelet more wearable is by attaching a strap or wrist harness onto it.

angelica-brigade_handmade-sculptural geometric-avant-garde_bracelet_jewellery-jewelry_accessories_angelicabrigade

angelicabrigade_beadweaving_dimensional-hex-bangle_workinprogess5

I started by making thin beadwork strap using the same beads I made the bangle with . . . but, to me, the smaller strap looked disproportionately small . . . So, I decided to replace the smaller strap and made a much larger one.

20130630-021335.jpg

This beadwork bracelet is basically a modified and enlarged version of the rings I created last week. I just give the beadwork some extra edges & make it more asymmetrical.

angelicabrigade_beadweaving_dimensional-hex-bangle_workinprogess4

Somehow, the piece makes me think of dinosaurs and old tree barks . . .

Anyway . . . I’ve been learning to create more and more shapes . . .

Love these dimensional triangles . . .

angelicabrigade_beadweaving_workinprogess

One of them is actually flat. It was my first try. I did better the 2nd and 3rd time.

—————————————————–

Next week:

There is a possibility that I’m going to write two different blog posts next week.

One of them has something to do with this video about Etsy:

I’m going to think things through before I say anything further.

If you have any input, additional information, or comment about this topic, please feel free to let me know. You can do so by writing a comment on this post or message me via my company’s Facebook Page.

Till then (:

-joyce

Sculptural Jewelry, Contemporary Beadwork, and Jewelry Making

angelica-brigade_sculptural-geometric-contemporary-avant-garde-metallic-beads-ring_unusual-jewelry_unique-handmade-jewellery_accessories (2)

I’ve been obsessed with learning to create sculptural beadwork jewelry.

Ever since I received my copy of Kate McKinnon‘s Contemporary Geometric Beadwork, I’ve been spending most of my free time learning the basic principles taught in the book and adapting them so I can create my own designs.

angelica-brigade_sculptural-geometric-contemporary-avant-garde-metallic-beads-ring_unusual-jewelry_unique-handmade-jewellery_accessories (1)

Here’s an example:

I started by learning to create the triangular ring you can see on my index finger. Then, using the principles I learned by creating the simple ring, I created a more dramatic ring you can see on my ring ringer.

I also went a step further . . .

To make the ring extra shiny and rock-solid, I decided to glaze the ring

angelica-brigade_sculptural-geometric-contemporary-avant-garde-metallic-beads-ring_unusual-jewelry_unique-handmade-jewellery_accessories (6)

After that, using the same basic (but modified) principle and using different kinds of beads, I ended up creating this bracelet.

I’m still not 100% happy with it. So, I’m going to spend some time improving it.

You can see my behind the scene and work-in-progress pictures in my Instagram or my Tumblr photo blog.

angelica-brigade_handmade-sculptural geometric-avant-garde_bracelet_jewellery-jewelry_accessories_angelicabrigade

Anyway, when I was trying to finish making this bracelet, I could see the possibility of making mini top hats & tricorne hats using these same methods.  It’s gonna be a few months before I can create a decent beadwork hat; but, I’m so excited.

——————————————————-

Next Saturday: New Directions, New Designs, and Updated Classics.

——————————————————-

Have an awesome weekend, guys!!!

-joyce of Angelica Brigade

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

joyce-katuari_angelica-brigade_bead-embroidery_bridal-headpiece_ceaseless-ardor_001

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.

800px-Abies_alba_02

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.

joyce-katuari_angelica-brigade_bead-embroidery_bridal-headpiece_ceaseless-ardor_002

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.

joyce-katuari_angelica-brigade_bead-embroidery_bridal-headpiece_ceaseless-ardor_003

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

——————————————————————-

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

——————————————————————-

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!!!

angelicabrigade-joyz

-joyce of Angelica Brigade

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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

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

The Serenity Prayer of the Ephemeral and Imperfect Beauty (or . . . Sephie Beau)

the serenity prayer of an ephemeral and imperfect beauty beaded hair accessory by angelica brigade beadwork beadworks hair fascinator comb by angelicabrigade skull silk flower butterfly

That’s the title of my newest piece. What a mouthful, right?!

It’s one of the pieces I entered to Fire Mountain Gem‘s Seed Bead Contest (you can read more about the contest here).

To be honest, I don’t think I’m going to win. The design isn’t very mainstream and the concept behind it is a bit bleak. But, I ended up owning something I’d want to wear very often, so it’s all good.

I enter contests – even the ones I don’t think I’ll ever win – to challenge myself. And usually, I gain new skills and come up with some things I consider groundbreaking. In this case, they are:

  • The eyelashes
  • The seemingly-floating star, and
  • The details on the butterfly

the serenity prayer of an ephemeral and imperfect beauty beaded hair accessory by angelica brigade beadwork beadworks hair fascinator comb by angelicabrigade skull silk flower butterfly

This piece is inspired by many women’s and girl’s hopes and dreams, and their efforts to reach them and the beauty of imperfection

Many women want to be slim and beautiful.

We fix our teeth, wear make-up, accessorize ourselves, and some of us even go through numerous procedures (ranging from getting eyelashes extension, botox injections, to cosmetic surgeries). Some of us even develop eating disorder(s) and exercise addiction.

Some women have more resources and determination than the others. But, many of us do try. This can lead to never-ending strives. People cannot stay young and beautiful forever.

In the end, we need to accept that there are some things we can’t change and do our best with what we have.

So morose?  LOL!!!

Well, just so you know, the other two designs I entered into the contest are on the frivolous side. I will write more about them next week.

the serenity prayer of an ephemeral and imperfect beauty beaded hair accessory by angelica brigade beadwork beadworks hair fascinator comb by angelicabrigade skull silk flower butterfly

I feature and use all of the characteristics of each material I incorporate (even the ones other people might consider as negative attributes) to advantage.

In this instance, for example: Galvanized beads.
Some people dislike the fact that the plating of galvanized beads cannot last forever. I, on the other hand, rubbed the plating of some of the beads off before I sprayed them with clear acrylic spray. It gives the piece more texture and makes it look more dimensional. Also, the slightly distressed look of the beads amplify the mood of the piece . . . the beauty of imperfection and the ephemerality of all things.

the serenity prayer of an ephemeral and imperfect beauty beaded hair accessory by angelica brigade beadwork beadworks hair fascinator comb by angelicabrigade skull silk flower butterfly

I also challenge myself by not relying on cabochon(s) to anchor my design. I could’ve used Swarovski rivolis for the eyes . . . and if I did it, I could’ve finished creating the piece a few hours faster. Instead, I choose to “draw, color, and shade” my designs using nothing but beads.

Actually, I planned to put some chainmaille links onto this design. That way, this piece will contain every single thing I specialize on. That’s the very reason I put a silk flower on it. But, I was running out of time & none of the combinations I tried look nice on it. So, I decided to nix the idea.

By the way, I love the butterfly wing the skull is wearing as a headpiece. I’m thinking about creating similar hair accessory (minus the skull) sometime this month.

the serenity prayer of an ephemeral and imperfect beauty beaded hair accessory by angelica brigade beadwork beadworks hair fascinator comb by angelicabrigade skull silk flower butterfly

To me, the most important step in designing a headpiece is making sure that it will look nice on someone’s hair. I had to change the proportion and the silhouette of the piece a few times before it looks just right.

IMG_1783

Then, the beading process begins.

IMG_1883

One bead at a time . . .

the serenity prayer of an ephemeral and imperfect beauty beaded hair accessory by angelica brigade beadwork beadworks hair fascinator comb by angelicabrigade skull silk flower butterfly

As always, I prefer to “draw” the outline of the piece by back-stitching each bead to create the shape.

IMG_1907

I tried a more conventional beading technique before (gluing cabochons —> beading around the cabochons —> cutting the beading foundation —> beading the edges) . . . but, that technique doesn’t work so well for me. May be it’s because I don’t really use cabochons. But not just that, I want to go beyond beading things in radial pattern.

the serenity prayer of an ephemeral and imperfect beauty beaded hair accessory by angelica brigade beadwork beadworks hair fascinator comb by angelicabrigade skull silk flower butterfly

After I was done beading the piece, I bonded it – using hot-melt adhesive – onto high quality ultrasuede … and beaded the part where the beadwork meets with ultrasuede to make the piece more seamless :)

Because the silk rose covers the pretty butterfly the skull is wearing as a headpiece, I decided to make the flower a bit smaller.

And, the number of hours I spent to create this headpiece is . . . 60 hours. The first attempt in bringing an imaginary accessory into reality takes time because I still need to figure out how I can create certain shapes or effects using the materials that are available to me. It involves a few trials and errors. I can reproduce this piece in less time. Say . . . 45 or 50 hours :D

——————————————————————-

Next Saturday: The other designs I entered into Fire Mountain Gem’s Seedbead contest

——————————————————————-

That’s it for now, guys!!!

Have a terrific weekend.

-joyce

Hard Work, Perseverance, Collaborations, & Time Offs

How can we create or accomplish things that are much better than what we can ever imagine?

By collaborating with other people who are great at things we aren’t so great at!!!

Wedding gowns by Amy Michelson Jewelry & Accessories by Angelica Brigade

Wedding gowns by Amy Michelson
Jewelry & Accessories by Angelica Brigade
Fur borrowed from Mon Amie Bridal Salon

Who’d ever thought that we can use my knotted chainmaille statement necklace to ornament a French Twist updo?! Denise Empey of Two Tone Umbrella did … I’d never crossed my mind that we can wear this necklace this way …

20130515-155313.jpg

It was for an Amy Michelson 1920s & 1930s Hollywood Glam stylized bridal gown photo shoot … 3 different models, and 10+ different looks. Here are some behind-the-scenes and alternate angle previews of the photo shoot:

Amy Michelson Hollywood Glam Editorial Photo Shoot at The London West Hollywood Hotel Photography by Kristi Klemens of KLK Photography in Orange County Irvine California Jewelry and Accessories by Joyce Katuari angelicabrigade angelica brigade

Bridal Gown: Amy Michelson
Jewelry and Accessories: Angelica Brigade
Model: Amanda T. Bird
Location: The London West Hollywood

It was held in this amazing hotel in West Hollywood called The London … We couldn’t have been able to secure the place in such a short notice without Natalie Good of A Good Affair Wedding and Event Production

The editorial photos were taken by the talented Award Winning professional photographer – Kristi Klemens (KLK Photography), along with her husband, Paul Bennett (who also is an amazing professional photographer), and lighting expert Efren Beltran

20130511-213702.jpg

klk photography kristi klemens paul bennet efren beltran

Do you know what it takes to create picture-perfect images? Lots and lots of work … and attention to details

Amy Michelson editorial stylized bridal gown photo shoot at The London West Hollywood, Model Actor Tess Panzer Hair and Makeup Denise Empey

Bridal gown: Amy Michelson
Hair & Make-Up: Denise Empey
Model: Tess Panzer
Location: The London West Hollywood

So glad that Danielle of Mon Amie Bridal Salon was there to lend us her expertise :)

danielle

I’m excited to see how the photos turn out (^_______^)

—————————–

So … this – officially – is the end of my badly needed time off (read more about it here)

I’ll publish my daily blog posts every Saturday morning (Pacific Standard Time) again :)

In the meantime, you can see my most current works & random behind-the-scenes photos on my Instagram or Tumblr :)

931292_10151558861519014_347175856_n surgical mask huge hair ribbon self portrait selfie iphone photography Angelica Brigade handmade bridal cuff / wedding jewelry / handmade bracelet for brides by joyz*k of angelicabrigade miu vermillion joyce katuari

-joyce

How to Make the Best of Out Skills & Maximizing Our Happiness

The seemingly simple (and trite, and unhelpful) answer is:
We should spend the bulk of our times doing the things we love to do.

I’m not saying that we should spend the bulk of our times doing some things that are related to the fields or activities we are interested in. Instead, we should take that principle one step further.

First, ask yourself this seemingly unimaginative question: If you can do anything you want & make a good living out of it, what would you choose to do?

Next, this is the more important question: Why? What do you like about like it?

Many of us will never become Olympic Athletes / famous writers / pop stars / leading actors / international models / etc. But, it doesn’t mean that we have to get stuck doing the things we don’t like so we can pay our bills.

Someone who loves to play tennis might never become a world class tennis player. Some people might encourage her to become a coach or work for a sporting goods company. But, those solutions might not be the best ones for her. She might love tennis because she loves being active.  She might also love the challenge and the adrenaline rush she gets when she faces her opponent. So, if (after giving her best shot) she’s not able to become a pro tennis player; then, it’s in her best interest to find a challenging job that can give her plenty adrenaline rush. There are a wide range of options she can choose from, such as:

  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • War zone photographer
  • Wedding planner
  • Bail bond agent
  • ADHD kids’ babysitter
  • etc.

Besides, she still can play tennis on her spare time . . .

Someone who wants to become a famous rock star, on the other hand, might want to become a rock star because he loves being in the spotlight . . . they love the fame, the money, the booze, the girls . . . Booze and girls are not on a rock star’s job description . . . so, if those are the kinds of things he wants, he might fare better if he:

  • DJ on the weekends (girls, booze, some degree of fame)
  • Opens a nightclub
  • Becomes an Alcohol Promoter, or
  • Becomes an Auto Show Organizer
  • etc.

Or, he can use his skills to get rich in some other ways . . . Gold diggers & alcohol can be a part of the deal

There’s a solution for everyone. Just focus on your real wish and find the best way for you to achieve it

  • What does it (doing the things we love) to do with finding finding happiness?
  • People should not define themselves by their jobs. A job should be a mean to an end.
  • If someone wants to stay at home with their children she should feel free to do it.

Well …

Most people spend the bulk of their times at work (or school). People who hate their jobs (or studies) aren’t very happy, are they?

Besides, I’d never said that we should find a job that fulfill us did I? I merely said that we should spend most of our times doing the things we like . . . if raising & supervising a child if something someone loves to do; then, by any means she should do it . . .

angelicabrigade angelicabrigade bead embroidery beading handmade accessories beadwork seed beads handmade jewelry headpiece beaded 1920s inspired demi couture

I on the other hand, love to create things with my hands. There are times when I work 15 hour days to meet some deadlines; but, I welcome such long days anytime. In fact, I’ve been working long hours these days because I’m getting some pieces ready for an upcoming photo shoot (8 different outfits for 2 different models).

When we enjoy what we are doing, more is just more.

~0o0~

So, that’s it?! If we do the things we love then we’ll definitely be happy?

No … You can read more about it here

—————————————–

Next Saturday:  Common Sense is a Trap

—————————————–

Have a great weekend :)

A Quick & Rather Brief Update

20130228-044559.jpg

Hi guys,

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.

Etc etc

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~

20130228-044235.jpg

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:

20130228-052112.jpg
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).

20130228-052803.jpg

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

Moving towards a different direction: Creating simpler & more wearble pieces

Hey guys,

I listed two new bracelets on my Etsy shop today.

As you’ll see (below), these pieces are a lot simpler than my usual designs (such as this one).

They are also much more wearable in the sense that we can wear it pretty much anytime we want (even on a daily basis) with pretty much anything we want.

 Bold & Chunky Antiqued Brass Chain Maille Bracelet / Cuff by AngelicaBrigade Angelica Brigade Vertebrae Weave Chainmaille jewelry Chainmail Jewellery

angelica-brigade_handmade_accessory_accessories_bracelet_chainmaille-jewelry_chainmail-jewellery_black-gold_art-deco-inspired_paige_004

Timeless, aren’t they? They’ll never look dated, even a few years from now. And yes, they are lovingly-constructed to last for years.

Update (March 12, 2013): These bracelets are no longer available for sale)

Previews + Updates

I finally got a chance to photograph all the pieces I recently made.

I’m gonna have to select & then edit the pictures (to make sure the colors seen in the pics are as similar to the real items as possible).

Here are some more previews of the things I plan to list on my Etsy shop. Sorry for cropping them & making them extra blurry. That way, when the official color-corrected pictures are up, you’ll like the final results more :D

angelica brigade handmade bracelets chainmaille bracelet brass jewelry jewellery

Simple but dramatic chainmaille bracelets. I’ve been wearing them the moment I finished making them.

angelica brigade cocktail hat gothic llita style headpiece millinery hair accessory angelicabrigade lurex floral hatinator

And this is my very first proper hatinator / cocktail hat

With hat frame & hat elastic that don’t show up when you wear it.

angelica brigade floral headpiece angelicabrigade art nouveau inspired flower clip handmade hair accessory

And these are Art Nouveau inspired hair clips. They are made out of silk shantung.

It might be a while before I can list them on my Etsy shop. After all, there are a few more custom orders I need to fill & brand new pieces (for two upcoming photo shoots) I need to create. And so, there are many samples of my new designs (which I call first-pieces) I need to create by the end of this week.

It usually takes me twice (and some times three times) longer to create first-pieces. Sometimes, things that look good on my sketch pad don’t look as good in real life. And so, I will need to re-size, replace, add, or reduce some parts of those first-pieces. At the same time, I also need to figure out the best way to construct each piece to make sure that they will are easy to wear, durable, & drape the way I want. It’s gonna be another hectic & sleepless week~

~0o0~

Anyway, have a great week, you guys! I’ll try to post some more new things this Wednesday.

In the meantime, you guys can check some other sneak peeks of several other pieces that I recently made on Angelica Brigade’s Facebook page & Tumblr. I don’t upload the same pictures on each site anymore~ So, if you want to see them, you’ll probably want to check each site.

Till then,

– joyce of AngelicaBrigade

Angelica Brigade’s New Studio

angelica brigade angelicabrigade new studio handmade accessories jewelry office independent designer

It’s tiny: Only 130 square feet (12 square meter) in size & located a few footsteps away from my living room.

To make the most of it, I asked a local carpenter to create ceiling-high cabinets (in glossy white) so I can make this home office to look clean & organized.

jasmine becket-griffith strangeling limited edition canvas print angelica brigade handmade headpiece hair fascinator headband angelicabrigade oversized huge silk flower art deco inspired vase vintage canvas head

I keep the decor to a minimum:

  • Two of Jasmine Becket-Griffith‘s limited edition canvas prints
  • A vintage canvas hat with one of my handmade lurex flower headband on top of it
  • One of my handmade gigantic silk flower propped on top of an art-deco inspired vase
  • One of my handmade alternative bouquet (it can stand upright on its own – without any support whatsoever)
  • A floral & metal centerpiece I made for my wedding’s cocktail party, and . . .
  • A framed chalkboard

angelicabrigade_studio_007b

At the end of each day, I put everything inside of the cabinets to keep them clean & dust-free.

Everything has its own space. It makes it easier for me to find things.

According to the American Demographics Society, Americans waste 9 million hours a day looking for misplaced items.

To me, time is a luxury. And once we waste it, we can never recover it.

I also like to start each of my workday afresh. Plus, it’s easier for me to clean the table when there’s absolutely nothing on top of it.

angelicabrigade studio angelica brigade office handmade headpiece millinery silk flower hair fascinator vintage canvas head jasmine becket-griffith painting limited edition canvas print independent designer etsy seller hair accessories small tiny office ceiling high cabinets minimalism decor clean chainmailler artist small business owner

This is how I make sure that each of my in-stock items are completely dust-free & stay pristine.

angelica-brigade_studio_in-stock-handmade-accessories-silk-hair-flower-chainmaille-jewelry-chainmail-jewellery-storage-002

I always keep Fire Mountain Gem‘s catalog nearby. It’s an amazing & comprehensive resource I need whenever I am designing a new piece of jewelry.

So, this concludes today’s short tour of Angelica Brigade’s Studio. Thanks for stopping by~

Angelica Brigade Jewelry & Accessories on Leveled Magazine & La Carmina Blog

Amazing set of pictures that make my day a lot brighter:

lacarmina lacarmina angelica brigade angelicabrigade leveled magazine leveledmagazine handmade accessories gothic lolita hair fascinator hair flower chainmaille jewelrylacarmina lacarmina angelica brigade angelicabrigade leveled magazine leveledmagazine handmade accessories gothic lolita hair fascinator hair flower chainmaille jewelry

Beaded Silk Headpiece by AngelicaBrigade via Etsy

10 inch Floral Headpiece / Hatinator with Gravity Defying Net Ribbon by Angelica Brigade via Etsy

ChainMaille & Swarovski Necklace by Angelica Brigade via Etsy

Dramatic and Unusual Bracelet – Chain Maille and Swarovski by Angelica Brigade via Etsy

Continue reading

Friday Finds: Tonya Hawkes Clutch

This must be the most original design I’ve seen in a long time

Tonya-Hawkes-Graphic-Clutch-31

Tonya-Hawkes-Graphic-Clutch-32

Tonya-Hawkes-Graphic-Clutch-33

How do you like it?

More pictures & description is available in >>> http://shop.harpersbazaar.com/designers/tonya-hawkes/graphic-clutch

Have a great weekend!!!

Continue reading

Busy Day Outfit

Busy Day Outfit Only Hearts Lace Camisole BCBG Bandage Mini Skirt Riller & Fount Cocoon Cardigan Neon Accents Dior Bag AngelicaBrigade Necklace Angelica Brigade jewelry Statement Chain Maille Jewellery Handmade Chainmaille necklace

Not so trendy, I know . . . but I want to be able to move freely, do whatever I need to do, or even sit on the floor if I need to.

All of them are knitwear & very stretchy.

(All of them are machine-washable as well)

In days like this, I want to concentrate on the things I need to do, and not the things I wear.

tAngelica Brigade handmade statement jewelry chainmaille jewellery chain maille necklace Statement Necklace, Knotted Jewelry Brass Chain Maille in Antique Gold Color

Only Hearts tank top – I buy them by the dozens, especially when I can use good promo codes/coupons.

A good place to find promo codes: http://www.retailmenot.com

~0o0~

Riller & Fount cocoon cardigan – Super comfy & easy to mix-n-match. I bought them (several years ago) from one of my favorite online shops: Revolve Clothing.

~0o0~

BCBG bandage skirt – Machine-washable, available in SO many colors, and much cheaper than Herve Leger (also by Max Azria). I usually buy them in one size too large so I can move freely in them.

~0o0~

Splendid leggings – I bought them many years ago (from my other favorite online shop: Shop LA Style), but they’re still good. I only buy high quality (thus reliable) leggings. Whenever I’m super busy, I =don’t have enough time to inspect them> I don’t want to discover – when it’s too late – that the leggings have some holes on them, etc etc.

~0o0~

Ugg Boots

Ugg Boots – I bought this pair from Zappos in 2005 (7 years ago~). Apart from the discoloration (which I actually like), the boots are still in good condition.

Sometimes, I like to roll the top parts of the boots down. They look cuter this way.

~0o0~

Angelica Brigade Handmade Chainmaille Necklace Brass Statement Necklace by AngelicaBrigade Chain Maille Jewelry Unusual Jewellery by Independent Designer joyz*k

Actually I also wore a bracelet I made using a jewelry-making kit I purchase in Japan a few months ago.

The leopard print thingy you see on my wrist is actually a hair elastic. I bought them from Planet Beauty. It also lasts for years.

As for the statement necklace, it’s made by me and available  in my Etsy shop.

jewelry making kit

Today’s Outfit:

Tomorrow, I probably will wear a very similar outfit . . . an identical tank top, identical leggings, the same boots, a similar skirt (in different color), a similar cardigan, and so on.

Coming soon to my Etsy shop:

Angelica Brigade handmade cocktail ring AngelicaBrigade chainmaille statement jewelry chainmail jewellery chain maille ring

Rustic and Woodland Gift Ideas for Women

woodland and rustic christmas holiday gift ideas for her

1. Earthy Woodland Mushroom Porcelain Trinket Dish: http://www.etsy.com/listing/103092516/

2. Woodland Rustic Christmas Feather Hair Pin: http://www.etsy.com/listing/113615194/

3. Rustic Wreath with Burlap Rosettes and Pearls: http://www.etsy.com/listing/110911015/

4. FRAMED 2’x2′ Antique Ceiling Tin Tile. Circa 1910. Fabulous rusty vintage tin: http://www.etsy.com/listing/114341965/

5. Rustic Mug with Texture: http://www.etsy.com/listing/116532377/

6. Rustic Pine Cone Guest Book Pen: http://www.etsy.com/listing/105884323/

7. Leather Journal or Sketchbook: http://www.etsy.com/listing/114951659/

8. Original Fine Art Photograph, 8×10: http://www.etsy.com/listing/98779254/

9. Rustic Christmas Ornaments: http://www.etsy.com/listing/116228961/

10. Tree Branch Candle Holders: http://www.etsy.com/listing/87620410/

11. Small Woodland Terrarium: http://www.etsy.com/listing/116564945/

12. iPhone 4 and 4S case Wooden Texture: http://www.etsy.com/listing/105645834/

13. Oatmeal & Honey Cold Process Handmade Soap, Vegan Friendly: http://www.etsy.com/listing/62416239/

14. Rustic Brown Clutch Handbag with Khaki Fabric Flower: http://www.etsy.com/listing/109424464/

15. Owl Necklace, Vintage Style Jewelry: http://www.etsy.com/listing/109650649/

16. Acorn Pine Cone Necklace: http://www.etsy.com/listing/107018514/

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,496 other followers

%d bloggers like this: