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Etsy

This tag is associated with 27 posts

DIY Tutorial + FREE Pattern: Beaded and Embroidered Holly Headband

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(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.

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  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

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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

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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

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

Growth, Progress, Courage, Metamorphosis, and That Photoshoot in that Private Beach in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, California

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Slightly more than 2 years ago, I opened AnGeLICA Brigade – a small handmade silk accessories and chainmaille jewelry shop – and sold my works via Etsy.

One and a half year later, Etsy shut my store down. Even though I post a lot of my work-in-progress photos on my blog and Instagram, and took snapshots of me re-creating the item they want me to duplicate, they refused to re-open my shop unless I show them my  trade secret (the only advantage I have, and something I need to guard if I want to survive in the business).

I was shocked, disappointed, angry, and had to go through several stages of grief … but I moved on. A few months after that, I consider the incident a blessing in disguise. I found new ways to market my designs . . . I collaborated with amazing groups of people . . . and I even got my works published in a number of magazines and blogs.

And now,  8 months after that incident, I’m ready to enter the next phase of my life.

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Gradually, I will stop selling handmade items and write tutorials on how to make them instead.

I’m also working on a few related projects I’m not confident enough to announce yet. But soon, when I’m ready, I’ll write all about it in this blog (-:

It takes me a lot of courage to do make this rather drastic change . . . shutting down a business I dedicated the past few years to . . . and starting afresh . . .

[Then, why the hell am I doing this, right?!]

I’ve given this a lot of thoughts . . .

  1. I opened my handmade store because I love making things and I’m good at it. But, from the very start, I’ve always known that I’ll never make a decent amount of profit out of it. There are stores that sell similar but cheaper and less durable mass-produced equivalents. Many people don’t care about the durability of the items they purchase anymore. They want variety and lower prices. They don’t want to wear the same things over and over again. So, spending a lot of money on well crafted items that are built to last isn’t something they will often do. The problem is, that’s the kind of things I produce.
  2. I can’t push the prices of my handmade products any lower (I barely make any profit at all), and the people who can afford my designs prefer to purchase similar things from more well known brands/designers.
  3. I need to make a living, too . . . So, I can’t quit my day job yet (especially for an unprofitable venture). So, I have to create my handmade designs after I come home from work. I no longer have enough time to do anything else. I don’t sleep much, I haven’t been to the gym in months, I don’t hang out with my friends as often as I used to, and (from time to time) I forget to eat. Keeping this sort of schedule for a prolonged time cannot be good for anyone . . .

This got to change . . .

I don’t want to stop doing what I love to do . . . but I don’t want to destroy myself in the process.

So, I won’t stop doing what I love to do . . . I just won’t sell the items I make, . . . just my patterns and my methods of creating them.

With no pressure of creating something cheap enough and attractive enough for other people, I can design whatever I want to make.  And, I will write the tutorials in a way that other people can adapt the methods I use to create something more affordable/sell-able . . .

As for the other other project I plan to start . . . I will talk about it some other time (-:

Now, let’s move onto my next topic: One of the three fashion shoots I did last month.

corona del mar private beach

A super gorgeous location, isn’t it? The MUA I collaborated with knows someone who has the key to enter this private beach in Corona del Mar (in Orange County, California). I took this photo using my iPhone and did nothing to enhance the photo at all.

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And here are some behind-the scenes snapshots I also took using my iPhone

corona del mar private beach shoot

Model: Ashley B @ Sirena Models

For the first time in many years, I made a top from scratch . . . I made the pattern, cut the fabric, and hand-stitched everything in (approximately) 12-working-hours . . . I can see that I’ll make more clothes for more photoshoots in the future.

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This is the same top the model wore in the shoot. It’s a one-size-fits-most 1960s-Balenciaga-inspired piece. The spiky nail jewelry and the beadwork ring is also made by me (-:

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I also try to move on from making flower-shaped accessories. It was harder than it seems.

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There was 6 different looks in total, and – with careful planning – we managed to wrap the shoot within 4 hours.

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Model: Ashley B @ Sirena Models

All in all, it was an amazing day . . .

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Next Week: If you love doing beadwork and embroidery projects, I’ll have some fun and sparkly d.i.y tutorials & patterns to share with you. There are 3 tutorials in total; but I will release them one at a time (-:

Till next time!

-joyce/Miu Vermillion

(Oh, by the way, I’m an Amazon Associate. So, if you click the pictures of the books I on the right side of this text, and decide to purchase any one of those books, I’ll be getting a 6% commission. I’m not paid by anyone to recommend anything and do not recommend things for the sake of getting a 6% commission).

Any ad that might show up below this line is not endorsed by me.

Some Thoughts About Etsy, Etsy Integrity Team, and Malicious Store Flaggers

Please watch the following video and tell me what you think.

About two weeks ago, someone whose Etsy store was (also) closed by Etsy Integrity Team contacted me. This is what she wrote:

Helen · June 25, 2013 - 6:07 am
Watch this video and pass it explains the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing aka “Etsy” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53Hwl6Y9UWs 

This is the same story I keep on hearing. Etsy has been getting away with this for years. Now this has to stop and the only way to hurt them is make the Attorney General in their state make them comply to have a real telephone customer service team. Bombard the internet and get the Attorney General in New York to make Etsy comply or shut them down. This company has no telephone service they have thousands of sellers who my law have have the rights to speak to a real person about their livelihood. This company is even acting like a bank where they have their own payment processing and still no telephone customer team where you can ask a question about YOUR business the business you grew. Something sounds very fishy all the stories from sellers Etsy has damaged without a moments thought the so called integrity team asking for the in’s and out’s of a sellers business and then still giving them the big heave ho when all the information has been given. 

I have had the unfortunate dealings with Eliza on Etsy and I totally understand that this person is incompetent she was rude, arrogant and ignorant however the lack of customer service must be coming from the top otherwise this person would not have been allowed to address me the way she did without being reprimanded. I have a right as a customer to speak to a real person and for them to explain what is happening and how to resolve it. But all you get is a email answered whenever they feel like it and a person who is demeaning and not their to help you in any shape or form and not only that puts barriers in the way and makes it hard as possible for you.
Bombard the Attorney General and ask him why he is letting this Multi Million company in his jurisdiction get away with such bad business practices. Name and shame that is the only way these faceless corporations ever learn by denting their pockets. Etsy your time is coming and I will laugh my arse off when you cowards have to face your customers with no more hiding behind your computer screens. 

File reports and ask others to do the same: http://www.ag.ny.gov/internet-bureau-online-complaint-form 

I can describe building a business on Etsy like building a house on sand it will eventually collapse because it’s build on a weak foundation. 

Helen

Last February, Etsy Integrity Team shut my store down because I wasn’t willing to show them how I sculpted and knotted my original statement necklace. It took me months to get over the shock, sadness, and bitterness. But I’ve moved on.

I learned from other people whose stores were also closed by the Etsy Integrity Team … it can happen again and again … So, I thought that it’s wiser for me to just stay away from Etsy.

Requiring every Etsy Integrity Team member to face the people whose stores s/he suspended might be a good first step. This can help him/her to see us as people … and to realize that s/he can ruin people’s lives and start avalanches of pain and bitterness with just a clicks of his/her computer mouse.

But … to me, it’s not enough.

I believe that the people who randomly flag and report their fellow sellers in order to get rid of their competitors should face the consequences of the things they’ve done and pay for the losses that are suffered by the people whose lives they ruined. They should realize that what they’ve been doing amount to cyber bullying. Also, because they maliciously make their fellow sellers to loose their businesses, their investments, and perhaps also their livelihoods … these people might have committed several criminal acts as well.

Unless I’m sure that I’m protected against such people, I would never sell anything via Etsy again.

Improvisation

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 . . .

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

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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

[Updates] It’s gonna take some time, but . . .

angelica-brigade_handmade_chainmaille-jewelry_chainmail-jewellery_necklace_silver-black_lurex_rondo-a-la-byzantine_004b

Rondo a la Byzantine Chain Maille Necklace with Lurex Ribbon

… wonderful things take a long time to create

I’m still unwilling spill my trade secrets to Etsy; and so, I’m still not authorized to sell anything via Etsy.

These past few days, I’ve been spending most of my “free time” trying to find new ways for me to do the things I love: Creating handmade jewelry and accessories on a daily basis. It’s my goal that – someday – I can do it for a living.

This unexpected change forced me to re-write my business plan which might very well be a blessing in disguise.

One-and-a-quarter year after I started my very first small business, through trials & errors, I’ve become more knowledgeable than I used to be. There are a lot more things for me to learn, but . . . I can definitely write – at least – a slightly better business plan than the one I wrote in 2011 (because . . . back then . . . the only business knowledge I had was the things I learned from my professors & from the books I read).

It’ll take some time for me to launch Angelica Brigade v.02 . . . especially because I’ve also been working on several other projects with several other artists . . . I can’t really talk about them on this blog just yet because I’ve learned not to count my chicken before they hatch . . . and because unexpected things can happen along the way . . . (am I being a bit too negative?)

Well, anyway, there are a few more things I plan to announce quite soon. If you are interested to find out what they might be, you are welcomed to follow my blog or subscribe to my blog posts via e-mail :)

Expose Your Trade Secrets or I Will Shut Your Shop Down : Etsy Suspended My Shop

[ Update: People who follow me on Instagram know that whenever they ask me about the materials & methods I use to create my demi-couture accessories, I always answer their questions to the best of my ability. E.g. I let them know where I purchase my materials, give them links to good video tutorials, etc . . . But, there are a small number of things I want to keep to myself . . . the things I want to make sure that big companies and mass-producers won’t exploit ]

Just because I’m not a billionaire . . . (and) new at this business . . . should I set myself up to loose before I even begin?

(T)he fact that someone can snuff itwith a click of a button wrenches my heart . . .

(W)hoever has the most power wins. And smaller entities like me need to be faster, wiser, and more resilient to survive.

And yet, I’m not giving up. Till the very end. I will protect & nurture my Angelica Brigade till I am no longer able to do it anymore.

Here’s my story:

After hours of extensive research, I’m still certain that to this date (February 10, 2013), I still am the only person in this world who (can) produce this lightweight but sculptural chainmaille necklace.

angelica brigade angelicabrigade company website

And yet, Etsy says that unless I prove to that I am the person who create this necklace, I can no longer sell anything via Etsy.

I invented this style in December 2011, starting with this hand piece  . . .
(You can read about it in this blog post >>> https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/one-of-my-best-works-this-year/ )

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It wasn’t perfect, but I thought that the piece was my renaissance as a chainmaille artist. So, I dedicated hundreds of hours to improve and perfect the style.

Then, I thought that a matching necklace might be a good idea. And so, I created these pieces by improving the construction of the hand piece, and extended its length just so to create these necklaces: https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/avant-garde-statement-necklace-by-joyzk-for-angelica-brigade/

avant garde maille necklace by joyz*k for Angelica Brigade

Here are a few pictures of myself and my workspace as I was creating the piece (as seen in that blog post):

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That necklace, then, evolved into this piece (as written in the following blog post >>> https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/another-avant-garde-maille-necklace/ )

Angelica Brigade avant garde maille necklace

And, as usual, I proudly show my readers that I do create this piece myself . . .

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That necklace, then, evolved into a bolder hand piece (you can read more about it in this blog post >>> https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/why-it-takes-me-8-hours-or-more-to-create-my-maille-jewelry/ )

And . . . per usual, I included some pictures of how I created the piece.

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And, I kept on perfecting this technique . . .

You can read about them in these blog posts:

Do you notice how similar they look? They are just becoming bolder & better-constructed . . .

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And . . . finally, I made this piece (which process I also blog about. You can read it in https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/how-i-create-this-type-of-knotted-chainmaille-swarovski-statement-necklaces/ )

handmade jewelry statement necklace chainmaille jewellery chain maille chain mail chainmail knotted swarovski fancy stone black gold angelica brigade angelicabrigade etsy indie designer bold sculptural unusual unique

I defended myself to the best of my ability using numerous photographic evidence, including this one

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And yet . . . they said that unless I show them how I twist the chain, where I connect the chain, et cetera, they will not let me to sell anything via Etsy . . .

To be honest . . . I am more than a little hurt :'(

I also feel more than a little offended.

Being falsely accused by an anonymous person . . . and then being forced to reveal many things I rather keep to myself (e.g. the sizes of the jump rings I used, the places I bought my supplies, etc etc) . . . And then forced to show my closely guarded secret . . .

Well . . . I am an owner of an extremely small business. My knowledge of how I constructed the piece is the only advantage I have. And, if I give that away, what will I have left?

Nothing . . .

An Etsy representative told me that whatever I tell them will remain confidential. And yet . . . if someone who is able to create chainmaille jewelry accidentally see the email . . . I don’t need to spell the consequences out to you, right?

Will Coca Cola & KFC tell other people their secret recipes? Are they allowed to keep their recipes secret?

How about me? Just because I’m not a billionaire . . . just because I’m new at this business . . . should I set myself up to loose before I even begin?

How about some justice? How about the right to not to act in a reckless manner?

And so . . . at this moment, I no longer sell my items via Etsy.

I told Etsy that I am going to need to think about this . . . that nothing but a signed & legalized document from Etsy will reassure me that this act of revealing all the trade secrets I have will never hurt me in the future.

I don’t think they’ll ever do that for me . . . The Etsy Integrity team member who handled my case did not respond to this matter when I brought the topic up.

So, here’s what I learned last week:

Etsy is a huge corporation, and I – a small-time newbie – am not valuable to them

and so . . . they shut me out.

I’m not a big loss to them and the fact that I am no longer sell anything via their online marketplace will not create any dent.

Well . . .

But life goes on . . .

And I will pick up the pieces and try to rebuild my small business which is as dear to me as an infant to his or her own birth mother.

Yes, Angelica Brigade is a very small business that doesn’t generate a lot of money, but it’s still my baby, and I love it so very much. I dedicated many sleepless days for it . . . And the fact that someone can snuff it with a click of a button wrenches my heart so much that even if this person revive it with another click of a button, it will never – ever – be the same again.

But, that’s how the world is I guess . . . whoever has the most power wins. And smaller entities like me need to be faster, wiser, and more resilient to survive.

And yet, I’m not giving up. Till the very end. I will protect & nurture my Angelica Brigade till I am no longer able to do it anymore.

And this is where I stand today.

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

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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~

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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

Some Sneak Peeks – It’s Gonna be a Busy Couple of Weeks

I scattered several previews of my new designs & currently unfinished pieces on Instagram & Facebook; but, here are some fresh ones:

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angelicabrigade angelica brigade work in progress bead embroidery handmade beaded statement bib necklace

I also made several new pieces of jewelry using thick brass & bronze jump rings. I haven’t got a chance to photograph them. May be later this week, after I finish creating two custom items for my new clients, making two bead embroidery bib necklaces, & a few other things.

I also have a few more items to make for two upcoming collaborations – photo shoots with professional photographers, professional models, & another designer who is much more established than I am.

So, I think I can’t blog very often this week; but I’ll try to share a few more pictures with you guys in Wednesday.

In the meantime, if you want, you can check my other sneak peeks on Angelica Brigade‘s Facebook page & Instagram (my Instagram user name is . . . you guessed it!!!~ It’s angelicabrigade. Not so original; but consistent :D )

If you aren’t on Instagram, you can still see the pictures via your web browser.Here’s the url >>> http://instagram.com/angelicabrigade

Or, you can see some of my Instagram pictures on my Tumblr. Here’s the url >>> http://angelica-brigade.tumblr.com

Talk to you guys soon~

P.S. I will try to post a new nail art tutorial sometime this week.

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This Week’s Finds: Statement Wing Earrings & Free ChainMaille Jewelry-Making Tutorial

Statement Wing Earrings for every budget: $18.00 – $4,485.00

Noor Fares Wing Earrings. The wings are made out of (carved) ebony. They are set in gold and studded with diamonds. And so, they are frigging expensive. (Please scroll down for some cheaper alternatives).

Noor Fares Wing Earrings Black Gold Brown Diamond

Image Source: ShopBAZAAR

Here’s the sterling silver & black rhodium version of the earrings which are 1380% cheaper than the ebony, gold, & diamond version.

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Image Source: ShopBAZAAR

I love these silver & rhodium one. It has a tribal feel to it but also looks very contemporary.

But, wait … similar earrings are also available in Etsy for $18 (the white ones – which are made out of carved bones) & $24 (the black ones – which are made out of carved buffalo horns). To me, judging from the pictures, they look well-made.

These ones by Tribal Style, an Etsy seller with a 100% positive rating by more than 32,000 customers:

Image Source: Tribal Style via Etsy

Image Source: Tribal Style via Etsy

water buffalo tribal earrings

Image Source: Tribal Style via Etsy

Now, onto the next find: A Free ChainMaille Jewellery-Making Tutorials

Actually, there are tons of chainmaille tutorial on Deviant Art, so you might want to browse the site.

Have a great weekend!!!

See you guys on this blog in Monday.

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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~

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

angelica-brigade_handmade_beaded-bib-statement-necklace_collar_001_01

angelica-brigade_handmade_beaded-bib-statement-necklace_collar_001_002

angelica-brigade_handmade_beaded-bib-statedment-necklace_collar_001_back

angelica-brigade_handmade_beaded-bib-statedment-necklace_collar_001_front

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.

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/

One of a Kind Beaded Jewelry / Accessory

https://ny-image0.etsy.com/001/0/6549167/il_fullxfull.402073488_1o9l.jpg

It’s gonna be the first among many~

angelica-brigade_one-of-a-kind_steampunk_clockwork_beaded_cuff_006

Angelica Brigade

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!!!

{ Or should I say: Happy Black Friday? :D }

What are you thankful for this year?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m thankful for the thing that lead to the birth of my very young company: Angelica Brigade

Do you know that it stands for AvaNt GardE Luxurious Inventions by Collaborative Artists Brigade?

What a mouthful, right?!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In case you are wondering, the thing that lead to the birth of Angelica Brigade … is planning my outrageous wedding ( which happens to be featured in Offbeat Bride >>> http://offbeatbride.com/2011/11/bali-multicultural-wedding )

It introduced me to Etsy & the joy of collaborating with other artists

Two of my dresses were by Angela Pilat of Glamtastik while one of my bouquets & all of my hair accessories were by Emma Read of Hapitat

Glamtastik Corset Burlesque dress

To produce the event (which I consider more of an art exhibit meet dinner theater meet theme park than a wedding), I worked with my a number of talented artists & a number of my (day job’s) co-workers

These are the key members of my team. Each person was in charge of something: timekeeping, decoration, food, entertainment, electric wiring, lighting, security, transportation, photography, & sounds.

Each one of them was in charge of a group of people we worked with

I created the whole concept & made a few things seen during the reception, but I couldn’t have done it without my team.

Working with them was such an amazing experience I wouldn’t mind doing it again … & again … & again …

And so …

Angelica Brigade was born

A headpiece that looks different if worn at (& seen from) different angles

It took me a while to make sure that this headpiece to look good when seen from & worn at many different angles

My method? I constructed the piece on top of a canvas head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a high resolution closeup of the headpiece

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

Social Media Marketing For Etsy Sellers: Useless?

Update 04/17/2016: I no longer sell my pieces via Etsy

It seems that many Etsy sellers say that social media do not give them more sales.

(Source: The comments portion of this Social Media Marketing Survey >>> http://promotesy.com/home/handmade-survey-an-etsy-seller-social-media-marketing-survey/ )

This fact does not surprise me much.

Consider this … many Etsy sellers’ Twitter followers & Facebook “fans” are their fellow Etsy sellers.

Though some Etsy sellers (including me) do (from time to time) purchase some things via Etsy, they are there – mainlyto sell things, and not to shop. They become other Etsy sellers’ Twitter followers & Facebook fans to show their solidarity ( or to get “follow backs” &/or more Facebook fans )… not because they are interested to become other sellers’ loyal customers.


In my experience, social media marketing gives my products more “views” and “admirers.” Since higher numbers of admirers can be one of the factors that might persuade a prospective customer to purchase my handmade accessories & jewelry, social media marketing is not completely useless.

But … here’s the interesting part:

The people who actually purchased my handmade hair accessories and jewelry are not my Facebook fans, Twitter followers, or my Etsy shop’s or merchandise’s “admirers” .

Plus, even though they gave me positive feedbacks on Etsy, they do not follow me on Twitter or “Like” my Facebook page.

~0o0~

I also read that many Etsy sellers find that advertising their items on Etsy does not give them more sales either.

This doesn’t surprise me much either.

In my opinion, theoretically, advertising on Etsy gives sellers better chances to get their prospective customers to notice their products. But … here is the twist: Are the people who search for the kinds of item they sell are their prospective customers … or their fellow sellers trying to curate Etsy Treasuries or research their “competitors”

In other words:

  • The people who search for statement necklace on Etsy might not search for them to buy them.
  • Some of them are looking for statement necklaces to feature in their Etsy Treasuries.
  • Some others, on the other hand, are looking at other sellers’ statement necklaces to find out how the other sellers price their items, or to find out the keywords they use to tag their items, etc etc.

The question is, how many percent of the people who search for the items are your prospective customers?

This, we cannot know for sure.

~0o0~

Anyway, all those facts get me thinking …

And … here are my conclusions:

  1. Etsy is an online craft fair.
    When people rent a booth at a craft fair, what they get is merely a space for them to display & sell their wares. Likewise, Etsy sellers shouldn’t expect Etsy to provide anything more than a platform for them to display & sell their goods.
  2. Etsy is a gigantic craft fair, with more than 2,000,000 new items listed per month and more than 700,000 new members per month (Source: http://www.etsy.com/blog/news/2012/etsy-statistics-july-2012-weather-report/ ) … Etsy sellers who merely sit around and wait for the customers to notice their merchandise will be sorely disappointed.
    To make more sales, they need to find ways to catch (and keep!!!) prospective customers’ attention.
  3. Social media marketing can help Etsy sellers to enhance their image, reputation, and online presence, but all those do not guarantee that they’ll get more sales.
  4. And, lastly, and most importantly, to get more sales, Etsy sellers need to advertise outside of Etsy and / or get featured in influential blogs whose readers are the kinds of people who not merely admire, but purchase the kinds of items you sell and in the price range you sell them.

I have not advertise outside of Etsy …

That’s the next step I need to take.

Finding a number of influential blogs whose readers are my potential customers is another one.

~0o0~

  • Any comment / feedback / stories to tell? I’d love to hear them :)
  • Are you a fellow Etsy Seller?
  • Have you advertise in Etsy? If so, did it give you more sales?
  • Does social media marketing give you more sales?
  • Are many of your Twitter followers and Facebook fans your loyal customers?

– joyz*k (a.k.a. Miu Vermillion) of AngelicaBrigade

http://www.angelica-brigade.com

http://angelicabrigade.etsy.com

Silk Headpiece With A Hand Beaded Polymer Sculpture Center Piece – Wearable Art – Gothic / Lolita Headdress, Photo Shoot Prop

gothic lolita egl japan elegant japanese gothic round headdress handmade floral headpiece hand beaded handmade polymer clay sculpture white silk organza burned burnt browned edges wearable art by angelica brigade angelicabrigade independent indie designer http://www.angelica-brigade.com Etsy seller as seen in La Carmina lacarmina blog

Style name: Jeanne (d’Arc) v.03
Original design by joyz*k of Angelica Brigade

The sculpture is 100% handmade, hand-painted, and lacquered by me.

The diameter of the headpiece: Approx. 6 1/2” (16.5 cm)
The diameter of the beaded center piece: Approx. 2 1/2” (6.35 cm)
Weight: 64 grams / 2.25 oz. / 0.14 lb.

Materials: Italian silk organza, silver-lined Delica seed beads, silver-plated beads, simulated pearls, polymer clay, silver pigment, high gloss acrylic lacquer, die-cut high quality felt, alligator clip.

Made to order.

www.angelica-brigade.com

www.facebook.com/AngelicaBrigade

Louella : Avant Garde Hatinator / Headpiece / Hair Fascinator with Gravity-Defying Net Ribbon

I created this headpiece for a magazine photo shoot

angelica brigade handmade hair fascinator handmade hatinator handmade heirloom quality headpiece avant garde unusual angelicabrigade hair accessory silk organza with gravity defying net netting ribbon looks like ears la carmina lacarmina magazine photoshoot

angelica brigade handmade hair fascinator handmade hatinator handmade heirloom quality headpiece avant garde unusual angelicabrigade hair accessory silk organza with gravity defying net netting ribbon looks like ears la carmina lacarmina magazine photoshoot

 

.:: talent is overrated ::. my design process .:: a day in life ::.

angelica brigade joyz*k joyz indie designer at work dalent is overrated a day in life chainmaille chain maille sample making prototype

Thousands of jump rings in various sizes strewn all over the table

Along with ribbons, Swarovski crystal pearls, strips of fabrics, metal findings

I know I’d been sitting here for hours

Using 3 different sets of pliers, I’ve been weaving the jump rings, taking them apart, changing the sizes of the jump rings I used, re-arranging the placements and the length of the chain, crystal pearls, and the ribbons . . . and I’m not even half done.

Out of sudden I felt lightheaded. My hands started to shake . . .

It was then when I realized that it was 7 pm, that I had been working for 10 hours, and that I had not eaten anything all day . . .

Quickly, I decided to whip something up really quick before things get even worse

And when I was waiting for the water to boil . . . I couldn’t stop myself from thinking out ways to improve the necklaces I’m creating today.

It’s not uncommon for me to keep on working till very early in the morning . . .

And the moment I wake up, after I have my morning coffee (with lots of rice milk & cocoa powder), I usually go right back to work

Yes, I know that it’s not a very healthy lifestyle. It’s not a lifestyle I’d recommend to anyone else. I also know that it’s in my best interest to live a more balanced life . . . But, at this moment, there is nothing I can do about it.

There are a few plans in the works and I’m on deadline . . . But it’s another story for another day :)

Many people told me how lucky I am that I find something I’m passionate about and how fun it must be creating all these jewelry and headpieces. If they actually see the kind of life I lead, will they still think so?

All these fumes I inhale and all these ash that I need to clean up whenever I create silk floral headpieces / hair fascinator

Once in a while I accidentally stab my fingers with a needle and burn my fingers

And then, there are these natural byproducts of one’s decision to stay seated on the same spot while doing the things that require one’s close attention to detail: back pain, neck pain, dry eyes

There are times when I get stuck and no matter how much I try the pieces either don’t fit together and do not look the way I envision them to be. It can be very frustrating.

Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am driven by this impulse to create. Plus, the satisfaction that comes with the completion of each project is incomparable.

angelica brigade angelicabrigade avant garde contemporary chainmaille chain maille chainmail jewelry jewellery handmade swarovski fancy stone oversized lightweight unusual unique http://www.angelica-brigade.com indie designer angelica brigade angelicabrigade handmade lightweight headpiece silk organza floral clip oversized huge big large extravagant gothic lolita avant garde hair accessory accessories etsy indie designer joyz*k joyz http://www.angelica-brigade.com Chain Maille Chainmaille Chainmail Jewelry Jewellery Bracelet Handmade AngelicaBrigade Angelica Brigade angelicabrigade angelica brigade avant garde handmade headpiece swarovski indie designer joyz*k joyz http://www.angelica-brigade.com hair fascinator hair accessories accessory red floral rose silk organza http://www.angelica-brigade.com

It’s uncommon for me to work longer than 14 hours per day

And … because of that, there are moments when I feel that talent is overrated. It’s the hours I spend doing, re-doing, fixing, and improving my works are the reasons I acquire these skills

Have you read or read about Geoffrey Colvin’s book Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else ?

How about Malcolm Gladwells’ “Outliers” ?

Here are some good summaries of the books’ arguments:

– Why talent is overrated http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/21/magazines/fortune/talent_colvin.fortune/index.htm

– Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers: http://wiki.dandascalescu.com/summaries/Malcolm_Gladwell_-_Outliers

It takes about 10,000 hours for people to start to be really good ad something

True, I one of the reasons I like to create chainmaille jewelry is because it comes very naturally to me. If I happen not to be not good at it or if I happen to dislike doing it, I would never spend so many hours practicing, learning new weaves, and designing my own chainmaille jewelry. So, perhaps, passion and natural aptitude are parts of the mix … but if I never spend those hours making numerous pieces of chainmaille jewelry and fabric accessories,  experimenting with new materials and techniques, and trying to figure out how I can make a better piece next time … I would not be able to make the things I am able to make today.

If I don’t spend enough time re-working this piece, this headpiece will still look the way the 1st version looks like …

283735_10150916440959014_1498896324_n

angelica brigade angelicabrigade handmade egl elegant gothic lolita hair accessory accessories headdress headpiece head piece hair fascinator black handmade indie designer avant garde unusual etsy joyz*k http://www.angelica-brigade.com

And, here is how the latest version looks like:

angelica brigade angelicabrigade handmade egl elegant gothic lolita hair accessory accessories headdress headpiece head piece hair fascinator black handmade indie designer avant garde unusual etsy joyz*k http://www.angelica-brigade.com

There are still a lot of rooms for me to improve. There are a lot of techniques I want to learn and incorporate.

Alas …  I’m not a super human and I do need to have some rest from time to time … How I wish there are more hours in a day

Anyway, look at the time!

I need to go back to work. I’m trying to finish creating these 2 new necklaces today. I will upload their pictures in a few days.

-joyz*k of AngelicaBrigade

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