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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)

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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

Making Mistakes: Learning What Works and Doesn’t Work – It’s a Matter of Perspective

Even so, it can be a little disheartening

Looking at all the materials I can’t re-use but not ready to throw away . . .

I really need to remind myself – time and again – that, at least, I now know what doesn’t work and what I should do next time

That’s how I learn to create every headpiece & jewelry I make . . . through trial and error . . .

True, I graduated from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Designs and Merchandising) . . . but as a merchandise/product development major . . . So, I never got any formal training in millinery and jewelry-making.

But, I have no intention of getting any formal training in hat-making and jewelry-making . . . Because it’s the main reason my designs don’t look exactly like other designers’ . . .  (Which, I believe, is a good thing)

(-:

And so, I’ll be making more and more mistakes and try my best to learn from those mistakes.

I hope, next week I can share my new designs . . . This week, unfortunately, I can’t produce anything worth sharing.

I spent the bulk of my time reproducing a few of my designs for Dream Shoot Rentals. (Check the link out to see pictures of amazing designs by various fantastic independent designers).

millinery grossgrain ribbon rose

I’m happy to say that this one looks a lot better than the original.

The original piece was a result of my experiment. It was the very first time I created that type of headpiece. So, it’s only natural that this one looks a lot better than the prototype (below).

headpiece by angelica brigade

I’ll be making a few more headpieces for Dream Shoot Rentals. You can expect to see real-time updates of my progress on Instagram or Facebook.

Till next week (-:

– joyce @ Angelica Brigade

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

Objectivity, Gratefulness, and Taking Calculated Risks

Each night, before I sleep, I make it my habit to list all the things I can be grateful about. It helps me to see my life in a more objective manner.

It’s too easy for me to focus on the things that went wrong. Although it’s good for me to spend some time finding effective ways to solve my problems . . . if I don’t make it my habit to think about the good things that happen to me each day, I would think my life is “suckier” than it actually is.

This week, though, I have more things I can be grateful about . . . more than usual . . .

joyce-katuari_fire-mountain-gems

(For a better view of the text, please visit http://www.firemountaingems.com/jewelryartists/jewelryartists_bio.asp?docid=KATUARIJ )

The result of Fire Mountain Gems’ 2013 Seed Beads Contest is out! (You can see the complete list of the contest’s winners here)

Hours before I submitted my design (a few hours before the contest’s deadline), I sort of doubted it will pass the contest’s semi-final stage. (Mainly because my beaded headpiece is much smaller than other contestants’ designs . . . and thus less impressive). But, the worst thing that could happen was I wouldn’t pass the semi-final. Which isn’t so bad at all. On the other hand, if I chose not to submit the design, I have zero chance of even passing the semi-final. So, I decided to submit the design anyway.

I remembered saying “here goes nothing” as I clicked the submit button. And, now, I’m glad I did.

angelica brigade avant garde origami headpiece mask

Actually, I say that very same sentence so many times these past few weeks . . . Which means that I decided to ignore my (sometimes) overactive superego and take a huge leap. And, again, I’m glad I did!

Last week, I decided to write to Lindsay Adler, a prominent NYC-based fashion photographer I admire. I showed her some of my designs and my online portfolio. When she said that she’d love to work with me, I was over the moon!!!

Last week, I also submitted some fashion editorials I styled and shot to several magazines . . . I haven’t heard back from them yet. But I’m crossing my fingers.

Till next week, you guys!

In the meantime, follow me on Facebook or Instagram for real-time updates and behind-the-scenes photos.

-joyce @ Angelica Brigade

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

Free DIY Tutorial : Christmas Ornament / Bag Charm

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

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

Supplies:

Techniques:

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

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

figure 1

figure 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alternately, you can also contact me via Facebook

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

Next Wednesday:
Free Tutorial: Christmas-Themed Hair Accessory

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

The Future of Fashion and Accessories Design

Is it the beginning of the end for handmade clothing and accessories designers?
http://www.dezeen.com/2013/06/05/3d-printing-fashion-print-shift/

Cubify had launched free-to-download shoes you can print overnight (you can read more about it here)

And . . . this autumn, when Windows 8.1 rolls out to PCs, it will come with 3D printer support (you can read more about it here and here)

Source: PC World

All these are created using digital printers

3d printed necklace 3d printer gerald design shapeways

Stereodiamond Necklace by Gerald Design, $117.65

Shot Glass by Opresco, $91.65

Gothic Style iPhone Case by IgoRRR, $22.35

Te Arawa iPhone Case by IwiLeComte, $51.20

In a few years, “(e)verybody can have their bodies scanned and order clothes that fit perfectly”Iris van Herpen (Fashion Designer and 3D Printing Pioneer)

You can order anything in any color and size you want . . .

And so . . .

With this technological progress in mind . . . I see the need to adapt and grow.

No, I’m not going to order any 3D printer anytime soon . . . Not yet . . .

However . . .

I’ve been working on several new projects I will announce within a few weeks.

There are going to be some significant changes . . . and, I believe . . . for the better.

 

-joyce @ 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

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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!!!

angelicabrigade-joyz

-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

Important Keys to Success You Might Overlook, Part 1

LIKEABILITY

No, I’m not talking about the importance of having a sparkling & lively personality …

Having a lively personality won’t hurt; but, the kind of likeability I’m talking about has more to do with thoughtfulness, pleasantness, reliability, trustworthiness, and generosity.

… Someone most prospective employers & collaborators consider as a good fit
… Someone who is considerate
… Someone who notices (and remembers) and cares about the people s/he interacts & works with
… Someone who keeps (and delivers) his/her promises
… Someone who treats other people as individuals

Someone who makes you feel at ease
Someone you trust
The person you want to be around
Someone who don’t laugh out loud and force you to be peppy when you are feeling low
Someone who can tell you the truth in a tactful & non-offensive way
Someone who who’ll never deceive you, steal from you, or sabotage your work

Basically,

… Someone you love to work or team up with (and when this person gets promoted, you would definitely think that s/he deserves it)
… The kind of salesperson you prefer to buy things from (honest, not pushy, and remembers your preferences, sizes, etc)
… The trustworthy & reliable electrician/plumber/mechanic you prefer to hire
… etc etc

————————-

Next Saturday: Important Keys to Success You Might Overlook, Part 2
Can you guess what might the second one be?

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Some AngelicaBrigade-related Updates

Next week is going to be Angelica Brigade’s product development week … I’m going to focus on making chainmaille jewelry that will go together with this Avant Garde Knotted piece

For more complete updates and tons of behind the scene pictures, please visit my Tumblr Photo Blog &/or Instagram

Have a fantastic weekend, you guys!!!

-joyce of Angelica Brigade

Chain Maille for Beginners

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

Here’s my current teaching method:

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

Ready?

~0o0~

What you might need:

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

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

~0o0~

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

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

It’s easy to figure out & very versatile.

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

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

The basic principle of this weave is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~0O0~

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

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

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

1.

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

and then close it (the gold jump ring).

2.

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

then, close that gold jump ring.

3.

Next, weave yet another gold ring through the black rings

4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better?

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

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

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

~0o0~

Now, some notes on the jump rings & pliers.

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

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

Thanks, and have a great week~

@k_joyz of Angelica Brigade

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

 

Continue reading

Chainmaille

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

Chainmaille jewelry: A piece of jewelry made of numerous (small) metal rings, interlinked together [by hand] to form a pattern.

14 months ago, when I started to learn to create chainmaille jewelry, most [mainstream] people didn’t know what chainmaille jewelry is … and the ones who know about it are either jewelry designers or a people who are into Renaissance-themed festivals.

But … out of sudden, I started to see chainmaille jewelry pretty much everywhere: E.g. in several high end department stores in the U.S., in various contemporary/”bridge” online stores (incl. ShopBop), in a Forever 21 flagship in Tokyo , & in Hermes boutiques.

hermes birkin chainmaille maille jewellery jewelry bag haute bijouterie bag

Hermes Kelly Sac Bijou by Pierre Hardy – Rose gold, 1,160 diamonds, 33.94 carats – $2 million.
Image source: http://labellefemmi.blogspot.com/2012/03/2-million-dollar-hermes-bag.html

When I saw that Hermes incorporated chainmaille jewelry into its handbag designs, I knew that the image of chainmaille jewelry will no longer be the same. More & more people will notice chainmaille jewelry when they see them. Also, many people will start to appreciate it & see it as a work of art that demands the patience, perseverance, & dedication of its creator.

~0o0~

My Story

I created my first chainmaille jewelry in September 2011. That summer, I had a severe leg injury. I couldn’t move my leg. I couldn’t go out. When I finally got sick of playing video games & watching DVDs all day, I decided to find something more productive to do. So, I randomly browsed the internet to find some free tutorials … and then … I saw this e-book in Amazon.com:

I checked the book‘s sample pages, and I thought that it’d be fun if I can make the items I saw in the pages. Plus, it didn’t look so difficult.

I had some leftover stainless steel wire I got from Ace Hardware & some free electrical pliers & a wire cutter I got many years ago from Newsweek (those free gifts upon magazine subscription).

[ In case you want to know how come I had a length of leftover wire: I used to major in Transmedia Art back then when I was a college student ]

So, anyway … I made my own jump rings by coiling the wire onto a chopstick. I then cut it lengthwise, and used those free electrical pliers from Newsweek to create my very first chainmaille jewelry. I didn’t look so pretty, but I’m hooked. So, I asked my husband to get me some more wires & made so many more not-so-pretty chainmaille jewelry.

Well,actually, the pieces look pretty good from afar, but if you look at them closely, you’ll notice that the edges of my home-made jump rings are not so neat & that I used permanent markers & spray paint to color those jump rings (>_____<).

This is how the piece looks like if you look at it very closely

One day, I broke my wire cutter … I, of course, can easily get another wire cutter… but I started to think that may be it was time to use professionally made jump rings … like the one I saw in the Kindle Book, for example.

It took me days to decide which size of jump rings I should get … but it worth the time I spent.

Oh, by the way, I decided to buy better pliers as well … the ones that are created for jewelry-makers. The electrical pliers are too large and clunky for jewelry-making purposes.

Notice the instant improvement? (By the way, this is my very first original design)

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

Not so bad, but not ground-breaking either.

That summer, I spent roughly 14 hours per day creating chainmaille jewelry. So, even though it’s been no more than 14 months since I learned my very first chainmaille weave, I’ve already have more than 3,500 hours of chainmailling experience.

~0o0~

Angelica Brigade handmade chain maille jewelry AngelicaBrigade handmade chainmaille jewellery anodized aluminum european 4-in-1 statement necklace in pale gold by joyz*k Miu Vermillion indie designer independent etsy seller artist

This probably is the most well-known chainmaille weave in existence. It’s called European 4-in-1.

The size(s) of the jump rings you use will determine the end look of the weave. This is the same weave the creator of the million dollars Hermes Nausicaa Sac Bijou (above) & the maker of this $14 Forever 21 necklace I saw in Harajuku use.

$14 Forever21 Chainmaille Necklace

Which … happens to be the same weave Citrine by Stones incorporate to create this statement necklace:

Citrine by Stones Cleo ChainMaille Statement Necklace. US$295.00
Image source: http://www.shopbop.com

But, there are many more (thousands, I heard) chainmaille weaves out there.

This weave (called the box weave) happens to be one of my favorites:

(This, by the way, also happens to be the very first chainmaille weave I learned)

This is weave I used to create these pieces:

Avant Garde Knotted Chainmaille Statement Necklace

Catrina (L) Knotted ChainMaille Statement Necklace by Angelica Brigade chain maille jewelry jewellery handmade by Angelica Brigade indie designer etsy seller

Catrina (L) Knotted ChainMaille Statement Necklace

Chain Maille and Swarovski Crystal Bracelet in Gold and Jet AB

Anna Avant Garde Knottd Chainmaille & Swarovski Crystals Statement Necklace

Quite a versatile weave, isn’t it?

My other favorites are the Open Roundmaille Weave (the smaller ones you can see on both sides of the center part of the necklace) & this weave I invented by accident (the center part of the necklace):

Angelica Brigade Handmade Chainmaille Jewelry AngelicaBrigade Chain Maille Jewellery Statement Necklace

Iris10 Z necklace

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This month, I’m going to blog about chainmaille every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday.

Want to create your own chainmaille jewelry? (Chainmaille earrings and bracelets can make excellent stocking stuffers / Christmas gifts~)

I’m planning to write several tutorials and several tips & tricks (with tons of informative pictures) I learned through trials & errors these past 3,500+ hours.

Not sure whether chainmailling’s for you? My detailed tutorials (and the pictures that accompany them) might help you to decide.

Also, next week, I’m going to hold a chainmaille starter kits giveaway. The winners are going to be selected at random. [I will post more about this next week]

Stay tuned~

@k_joyz of AngelicaBrigade

[P.S. Tomorrow, I’m going to write about my most recent outdoor photoshoots & post the pictures of my jewelry & headpiece new designs. There will be a lot of pictures I’m excited to share with you. Here are several of the (cropped) off shots. What do you think?]

If you can’t conceal it, and can’t find a better substitution …

If you can’t conceal it and can’t find a better substitution either …

Then, it’s best to incorporate it into the design.

~0o0~

For months, I’ve been looking for high quality undrilled freshwater pearls & undrilled crystal beads I can use to replace the Swarovski crystal pearls create this chain maille necklace.

Angelica Brigade angelicabrigade handmade jewelry jewellery necklace new weave swarovski crystal pearl pearls gold silver unusual elegant glamorous captive variant weave joyz*k

The Gwynn Handmade Chain Maille & Swarovski Crystal Pearls Necklace by Angelica Brigade

I love how the Swarovski crystal beads look with the chain. The thing is . . . each of these beautiful, gleaming crystal pearl is created with 2 pin-sized drill holes on it. People who see me wearing a similar piece never notice the holes, but . . . I know they’re there . . . and if I have a choice, I’d rather use beads and crystals that have no holes (no mater how tiny) on them.

Why?

  • The drill holes serve no aesthetic nor practical purpose
  • To some people, the holes might look like product defects
  • Plus, it makes the necklace looks too home-made & less professionally-done

Some people don’t mind the drill holes a bit … but, if it is possible for me to create a drill-hole-free version of the necklace, by any means, I should. right?! (I think so . . . )

Well, unfortunately, currently, my company isn’t big enough to place custom drill-free Swarovski crystal beads & crystal pearls

So, I have to find other ways to create the Gwynn necklace without unnecessary drill holes on the beads. So …

independent designer angelica brigade angelicabrigade blog jewelrymaking jewelry making indie designer etsy seller

I decided to use hand-painted & enameled (cloissone) beads, which motif highlights the drill holes by making them to look like black dots that serve as the the focal parts of the design.

( I will make this style in several different colors )

I love how the beads make the Gywnn looks art deco

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I’ll still make the crystal beads & crystal pearls version of Gwynn …

The cloissone-beads-Gwynn will merely be a (more refined) variation /option to the “style family”

$0 marketing that’s more effective (for me) than social media marketing

AngelicaBrigade Angelica Brigade joyz joyz*k Independent Designer Small Business Owner Artist Etsy Seller

$0 marketing that’s more effective (for me) than social media marketing:

  • Wearing my own designs everywhere I go
  • Going out to many places where my target customers usually go on a regular basis
  • Never leaving the house without  bringing a stack of well-designed / eye-catching / memorable business cards

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade moo business card moo.com

I ordered my double-sided business cards from Moo.com

Here’s a better version of the photograph you can see on on one of the sides of the business card

angelica brigade chainmaille chain maille handmade jewelry jewellery angelicabrigade moo business card moo.com

The benefit of using a high quality double-sided business card:

  • People are less likely to throw the card away
  • The photograph people can see on one of the sides of the card will remind them how awesome your works are
  • The photograph can also persuade them to visit your website / online shop more than once

~0o0~

I chose eight of my best photographs … the ones that represent each type of jewelry & accessories I designed

People who stopped me to ask me about my knotted chain maille necklace got the card with a similar necklace they were interested in. The people who inquire about my hair accessory receive this card instead:

handmade floral clip anywhere clip silk organza flower

And, the people who wanted to know whether I also create bridal headpieces … received cards that feature a bridal headpiece.

And so on …

~0o0~

Why this $0 marketing is better (for me) than social media marketing:

  • It gives me a chance to meet, interact, get to know my potential customers.
  • It’s easier for me to find out who my potential customers are. They are the people who stopped me to ask me about my designs.
  • It gives those potential customers chances to see my products with their own eyes. That way, when they see my designs in my online shop, they will know what to expect: That my works look as good as their photographs and that I don’t Photoshop those pictures to death.
  • They don’t live a few thousand of miles away from me … so, I don’t have to worry about shipping costs and potential problems with customs. Firstly, expensive shipping cost(s) might cause some potential customers to purchase similar items elsewhere. For that reason, I usually foot a part of my overseas customers’ shipping fee. Obviously, this do cause me to earn less revenue. Also, from time to time, some packages might get held at customs … so, when they need some items fast, they might prefer to order the items from local stores or artists instead.
  • Some potential customers who prefer to conduct offline transactions can pay for the items they order when they receive those items.

~0o0~

P.S: I personally think that social media marketing do not give small business owners (especially Etsy sellers) more sales. You can read my reasoning here: https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/social-media-marketing-for-etsy-sellers-useles

Any thought / question ? Please don’t hesitate to write a comment :)

New York Fashion Week S/S 2013 Recap Part 2: Design Elements

1. Bold geometric prints

(L-R: Alice + Olivia, Proenza Schouler, Mara Hoffman, Prabal Gurung for ICB)

(L-R: Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Herve Leger)

2. Superimpositions (of sheer + non-sheer fabrics)

(L – R: BCBG by Max Azria, Jason Wu, Helmut Lang, Herve Leger)

3.Cut-Outs

(L – R: Michael Kors, Donna Karan, BCBG by Max Azria, Mandy Coon)

4. Asymmetry

(L – R: Helmut Lang, Milly, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan)

5. Slit Skirts

(L – R : Jenny Packham, Monique Llhuilier, Rodarte, Oscar de la Renta)

6. Stylized Floral Prints

(L – R: Lela Rose, Diane von Furstenberg, Thakoon, Alice + Olivia)

7. Shiny Fabrics (such as silk & satin)

(L – R: Helmut Lang, Christian Siriano, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte)

(L – R: Marchesa, Rachel Zoe, Marc Jacobs)

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Styles:

1. Mod (1960s)

Rachel Zoe

2. Minimalism

Elizabeth and James

3. Glam

J Mendel

4. 1950s-inspired

Vera Wang

Marc Jacobs

5. Powerful Woman / Warrior Princess

BCBG by Max Azria

Victoria Beckham

Rodarte

6. Super Slouchy Casuals

Helmut Lang

 

 

Disclaimer: None of the pictures featured in this blog post is mine. I’m not using them for any commercial purpose. However, if you happen to be the legal owner(s) of these images & want me to remove them from this blog post, please let me know and I will remove them immediately.

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