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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

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

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

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Next Saturday:  Common Sense is a Trap

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Have a great weekend :)

Beaded Bib Necklace

What’s new in my Etsy shop this week

angelica-brigade_handmade_beaded-bib-statement-necklace_collar_001_005 Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade Handmade Statement Necklace Bib Necklace Collar Beaded Swarovski Crystals Swarovski Crystal Pearls Etsy Sample Sale Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade Handmade Statement Necklace Bib Necklace Collar Beaded Swarovski Crystals Swarovski Crystal Pearls Etsy

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angelica-brigade_handmade_beaded-bib-statedment-necklace_collar_001_back

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An unusual hand-beaded bib necklace / collar.

Each bead is STITCHED onto the cuff’s base THREE (but sometimes up to five) TIMES to make sure that each bead will stay in place for a many years to come.

Beaded Bib Necklace SAMPLE SALE, Statement Necklace, Beaded Collar – for wedding, photo shoot prop, special occasion

Beaded Bib Necklace SAMPLE SALE, Statement Necklace, Beaded Collar - for wedding, photo shoot prop, special occasion
Beaded Bib Necklace SAMPLE SALE, Statement Necklace, Beaded Collar - for wedding, photo shoot prop, special occasion Beaded Bib Necklace SAMPLE SALE, Statement Necklace, Beaded Collar - for wedding, photo shoot prop, special occasion Beaded Bib Necklace SAMPLE SALE, Statement Necklace, Beaded Collar - for wedding, photo shoot prop, special occasion Beaded Bib Necklace SAMPLE SALE, Statement Necklace, Beaded Collar - for wedding, photo shoot prop, special occasion Beaded Bib Necklace SAMPLE SALE, Statement Necklace, Beaded Collar - for wedding, photo shoot prop, special occasion

An unusual hand-beaded bib necklace / collar.

Very sparkly.

Made with meticulous attention to detail.

Each bead is STITCHED onto the cuff’s base THREE (but sometimes up to five) TIMES to make sure that each bead will stay in place for a many years to come.

Features:
– Rhinestone cabochon
– 1000+ Japanese seed beads (in pink, white, silver, lilac, pale peach, & mint green)
– Gleaming Swarovski crystal pearls
– Swarovski crystals
– Swarovski round beads
– Silver-lined bugle beads
– Italian Tulle closure (in Antique Pink)
– High quality felt

Very sparkly~

Original design by joyz*k of Angelica Brigade.

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